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igljtn in tj)e ^rrijjtmes/' 





The Rev. GAVIK CAllLYLE, M.A. (Edin.) 

" A certain Jew ... An eloquent man, and mighty in the 
Scriptures." — Acts xviii. 24. 





TT has been impossible to publish sooner the Memoir 
J- of the lamented Dr. Adolph Saphir. On account of 
his sudden death, which followed so closely that of his 
wife, there was a delay in the settlement of his affairs; 
and, consequently, no access could be had to documents of 
any kind till about the middle of last year — a year after 
his death. When I was then asked to write the Memoir, 
much time and labour were required to collect letters 
and documents from friends and correspondents of Dr. 
Saphir. But though there has consequently been delay, 
the Memoir will, I believe and hope, be not less valaed 
by devoted friends, of whom he had very many, nor less 
interesting to the general public. 

The life of Dr. Saphir was one of remarkable interest, 

not so much in its variety of incidents, as in its early 

associations, and in the striking jpersonncl of the man. 

This is seen in his thorough Jewish type of mind and 

intellect, intensified by the genius of the Saphir family, in 

the freshness and originality of his ideas and expressions, 

and above all, in his spiritual power — his deep insight 

into the meaning of Scripture and the relations of its 

different parts. 

• The expression, '' Mighty in the Scriptures," truly 

P describes him. In his commanding knowledge of the 

spirit and purport of the various books of the Bible, few 

- preachers of his own or any age approach him. He fore- 

^ shadows in this what great results may be anticipated 

o from the promised restoration of Israel. 

\ 174755 


We append to the Memoir three carefully chosen 
Sermons delivered at the three different spheres of his 
ministry — Greenwich, Blackheath, and Belgravia; also a 
Selection of Pithy Sayings and Short Extracts. These 
Sermons and almost all the Extracts are i^ublished for the 
first time. 

As to Dr. Saphir's social characteristics, one who had 
known him for a quarter of a century describes him 
thus accurately : His visits were increasingly appreciated 
in our family, revealing as they alwa3^s did more of his 
wonderful mind and grasp of thought, brightened, when 
ill-health did not depress him, by that elasticity of spirit 
and keen sense of humour wdiich made him, to his more 
intimate friends, such a charming companion. His rare 
wit and humour were said to be family characteristics, 
inherited from his father, and in Dr. Saphir were never 
allowed to lead to the very slightest irreverence for sacred 
things. His many-sided intellect could quickly enter into 
everything in Religion, Literature, and Politics ; he would 
seem only to glance into the morning papers and would 
at once give you a resume of everything in them. 

We have had many letters not only expressing interest 
in the publication of this volume, but praying for God's 
guidance in the preparation of it. We quote only one of 
them, from the late Dr. Andrew Bonar, wdio, when I 
wrote to him and then saw him, last summer in Glasgow, 
was greatly interested. " Dr. Saphir," he wu'ote, " w^as 
indeed a Hebrew of Hebrews, in the best sense." " May 
the Lord give you the pen of a ready writer, and bless 
your labour of love ! " 

Gavin Carlyle. 


I. The Call of God. 

The Deputation of the Church of Scotland — Inquiry as to Fields for Jewish 
Missions — Visit to Pesth — How brought about — The Archduchess Maria 
Dorothea and her Husband, the Prince Palatine — Dr. Keith's Hlness — 
Friendship of the Archduchess, and her promise of Protection to the 
Mission ^;, 1 

II, The Pesth Mission. 

" Rabbi " Duncan the First Missionary — His great Popularity and Influ- 
ence among Jews and Christians — Mrs. R. Smith instructs the Daughters 
of the Archduchess, viz. the present Queen of the Belgians and the 
Mjther of the present Queen of Spain — The Spirit of Inquiry 2^- 9 

III. The Saphir Family. 

The Three Brothers — The Father of Adolph, Israel Saphir — His Learning 
and great Influence in Hungary — The Simultaneous Conversion of 
Father and Sou — Adolph's Avowal of his Faith — Reminiscences of 
Adolph's Childhood by his Sister — Dr. Keith's Ro[>ort — References to 
Adolph's Father — The Sai)hir Family ... ... ... ... 'p. Ih 

IV. Baptism of the Saphir Household, 

Mr. Saphir, his Wife and Daughters and .Adolph .baptized in June 1843— 
Crowded Assembl}' of Jews and others — Impressive Address of the 
Father — Secret First Communion — "Sound of the noiseless steps"' — 
Earnestness of Young Adolph — Impression in Hungary and Germany 
— Discussion in the Press— Striking Letter of Adolph's Father p. 29 

V. Influence of the Court. 

The Archduke and Archduchess foster the Mission — They encourage the 
sending of Evangelists all through Hungary— The Archduke's Peaceful 
Death in 1847 — Subsequent Persecution of the Archduchess — Her Death 
in 1855 p. 41 

VI. Adolph's Departure from Pe.sth. 

Adolph leaves Pesth with Edersheim and Tomory — How they got away — 
Edersheim's Conversion and Career — Ra]>id Progress of tlie IMission— 
Troublous Times — The Hungarian War — Tlie Fields ripe unto Harvest 
— Expulsion of the Missionaries — Mission Work resumed ... 'p- 47 

VII. xVdolph's Education in Berlin. 

Adolph in Edinburgh — Mrs. Duncan — Education in Berlin, 1844 to 1848 
— Attends the Gymnasium — Religious Difficulties — Letter to Mr. Win- 
gate — Becomes acquainted witli the Rev. Theodore Meyer — Happy 
Influence of this Fricndsliip — Effect of hi'; Difficulties on his future 
Doctrine and Teaching ... ... ... ... ... ... j9. 5S 


VIIL Philipp Saphir and his Sister Elizabeth. 
Memoir of Philipp written by Adolpli when a Student in Edinburgh 
— Philipp's early Carelessness and Worldliness — Conversion and Baptism 
— Training at CarlsruVie — Delicacy — Intense Sufferins^s — Starting 
Young Men's So<-iety— Opening of School for Jewish Children — Its 
Great Success — His Joyful Death — Elizabeth Saphir described by her 
Sister ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... p. 65 

IX. College Career in Scotland. 
Adolph's Stay in Glasgow— Session 1848-9— Tutor with Mr. William 
Brown in Aberdeen — Acquaintance with WiPiam Fleming Stevenson 
— Mutual Benefit — Great Influence of this Friendship on his Life — 
Visits the Stevensons in Strabane — A Second Home — His Description 
of Stevensoui^, ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ^^ 90 

X. Letters of Student Days. 
Letter to Kingsley, and Reply of Kingsley — Letters to Donald Macleod, 
now Editor of Good Words, and others — Unreal Orthodox Phraseology — 
Right Method of studying Scripture — Union with Christ— The Re- 
action against Shams threatening to become itself a mighty Sham — 
German Literat'.n-e — Striking Dream — Consciousness of Magnetic Influ- 
ence — Joyousness of Easter and Pentecost — Ruskin — True Self-Culture 
— God the Source of all Personality — Claudius and Manly Christianity — 
Mission Work begun ... ... ... ... ... ... ^a 100 

XL Ordination to the Jewish Work. 
Licence as a Preacher, and Ordination in Belfast — Dr. Cooke presides — His 
Marriage — Mrs. Saphir's Character and Influence — Hamburg — His Idea 
of Jewish Missions — His Remarkable Tracts — Israel Pick's Influence — 
Threatened with Military Service by Austria — His Views as to Methods 
of Work not sustained by the Mission Committee— He resigns ... p. 118 

XII. Ministry to Germans in GLAsao^v. 
Norman Macleod's Interest and Friendship — Letter of Principal Brown on 
his Work in Glasgow — Letters to a Friend — His Work among the Ger- 
mans—His Anxieties — Jowett's Book on Paul — Birth of his Daughter — 
Call to South Shields _ ^.127 

XIIL Beginning of Life-Work in England. 
Settlement at South Shields— Mr. J. C. Stevenson, M.P., and Mrs. Stev- 
enson — His First Experimen^s as to the Method of Delivery — The 
Method adopted — His Idea of Preaching — His Appearance and Manner 
— His Book on Conversion — Rev, James Hamilton, D.D. — Death of his 
only Child ;a 132 

XIV. Settlement at Greenwich. 
The Rev. George Duncan — The Congregation — Speedy Popularity — The 
Church needs to be enlarged — Letters to Mr. Stevenson, M.P., and 
others as to his Work— Letters descriptive of Saph'r and his Ministry — 
Edward Irving— Campbell of Row — Sermon to Children— Letters to 
Lady Kinloch — Joy in his Work — Spiritual Fruits ... ... _p. 138 

XV. Literary Activity. 
His Literary Tastes and Power — Wide Knowledge of Literature, German 
and Englisli — Contributes to Good TFords—l^otes of various Contribu- 
tions and Extracts — Tour in Germany with the Macleods and Stevenson 
—His Tracts— r/i/- Golden A B C of the Jews, kc jy. 153 


XV.T. Fame in London. 

Narrative by Mr. James E, Mathieson — Address in Stafford Rooms — 
Impression on Browulow North — Address repeated in Hanover Square 
Rooms— Lord Shaftesbury — This Address the Basis of Christ and the 
Scriptures— koXion as to Hymns — Value as a Teacher ... p. l7o 


Its Importance and Originality — Short Survey of its Arguments — The 
Second Comincf of Christ — Opposition to the " Broad Church " Theology 
— The Lord's Prayer — The Future Kingdom 7^.180 

XVIII. Close of Ministry at Greenwich. 

Sketch of Mr. and Mrs. Saphir by Canon j\IcCormick — His Health failing 
— Always Fragile — Leave of Absence for a Year — Typhoid Fever in the 
Engadine — His Influence there — Return in 1871 — Resignation of his 
Charge in 1872 |). 201 

XIX. BECriNNiNCr OF Ministry in West London. 

Purchase for him of a large Church at Notting Hill — Money obtained easily 
— Church at once filled — ^^Mcmbers of all Churches join — His Thursday 
Lectures attended by numerous Clerg}^ and other Persons of Influence — 
Liberal Supporters of the "Work — Great Activity of the Congregation — 
Call to Scotland — Moody and Saukey's Visit to London ... ^;, 211 

XX. Lectures on the Hebrews and the Divinity of Christ. 
Majestic Style of the Epistle— Its Central Idea— The Glory of the New 
Covenant — Christ and Moses — The High-Priesthood of Christ— Alleged 
Priesthood of the Clergy— Pauline Authorship— Lecture on the Divinity 
of Christ — Jewish Difficulties— Personal Testimony p. 2\9> 

XXL Letters of his Later Life. 

Comfort in Bereavement — The Church, what it is, and Baptism — Princess 
Alice's Death — Church Order — Apostolic Succession — Faith without a 
Knowledge of the Spirit's AVork — The Fall and Redemption^ necessarily 
connected— The Future Punishment Controversy — The Present State of 
the Churches— Broad Churchism — ''The Catholic Apostolic Church" — 
Crucified with Christ — A Vicarious Atonement — Schleiermacher — Separ- 
ation from the World — The Lord's Day — Perfectionism — A Free Gospel 
and Election — The Connection of the Present and Future Lives — "The 
Higher Life" — Dr. Keith's Last Davs — German Translations of the 
Bible— Influence of Trial ... " T'- 237 

XXII. Ministry in West London from 1875 to 1880. 

His Assistants — Rev. IT. E. Brooke, Rev, J. Stephens, and Rev. J. H. Top- 
ping — Lady Grant — Miss Cavendish — His Failure of Strength-— Difficul- 
ties — Nervousness — Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Edinburgh — ■ 
Resignation in 1880— The Misses Jacomb— Brief Ministry at Kensington 

p. 263 

XXIII. Ministry in Belgravia. 
Congregation of Halkin St.— Rev. J. T. Middlemiss his Assistant— Extracts 
from his Diary, and Saphir's Letters to him— Record of his Intercourse 
with Saphir— Resignation of Halkin St. Church— Lectures on the Divine 
Unity of Scripture— Mr. Grant Wilson's Reminiscences— Letter to a 
Servant— A New School Minister— To whom are the Epistles addressed ? 
— Carlyle— A Family Affliction- Letters to a Widowed Niece— Letter 
to a Norwegian Sea-Captain on Baptism ... ... ... ^.273 


XXIV. Devotion to the Jews and Jewish Mission, 

Love to Israel of Moses and of Paul — Pauline Doctrine of Israel's unchang- 
ing Position — What was Israel's Glory ? — Israel's Present Condition — 
Prophecies fulfilled, and Projjhecies to be fulfilled— The Future of Israel 
bright and glorious — Israel's Claim upon the ^entile Churches — The 
Everlasting Nation — What will be accomplished through Israel — The 
Rabinowich and Lichtenstein Movements — Rev. C. A. Schonberger — 
Delitzsch's Early Interest in the Jews — His Revival of Jewish Missions 
in Germany — Mr. Schonberger's Visits to Lichtenstein and Rabiiowich 
— The Establishment of the Rabinowich Council, with Saphir as Presi- 
dent — His Great Interest in the Work — Jubilee of the Scottish Jewish 
Mission — Address at Mildraay Jewish Conference ... ... p, 295 

XXV. Closing Days. 

Residence at Notting Hill — Services sought — Many Afflictions — Vi.'iit to 
Bournemouth — Happy Ministry there — Letter on Liix Mundi — Renirn 
Home — Last Sermon — Mrs. Saphir's Death — His Lt^ters in re<mrd to 
her Death and Funeral — His own Sudden Death and Funeral — Rev. R. 
Taylor's Funeral Addres.s — Testimony of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon and 
others — Inscription on the Tombstone ... ... ... ... p. 319 

XXV I. Pithy Sayings and Shoet Extracts. 

The Christian's Walk— What a Beautiful Saviour I have— The Devil's 
Gos[)el — Going to Heaven — Little Steps— Answers to Prayer — The Bible 
and Nature— The Penitent Thief — God gives the Superfluiti-s — Out 
and Out Christians— False and True Worship — Union with Christ — 
The Trinity — Beauty of Scripture — Jesus identifying Himself with 
Humanity — Preaching, what it is Heaven's Inhabitants —The A])0.stolic 
Church — The Cross— Affliction and its Blessed Influences — Keejiing the 
Garments always White — The Lord's Supper and the Passover — As.sur- 
ance — God in the Old Testament — Union of Christians — Joy precedes 
Peace— The Wonderful, Tender Love of God — God and Satan— The Jews 
— Faith and Prayer — Genius anl Spirituality — The Body not the Chief 
Centre of Sin The Apostles and Idolatry— The Apo-tl s— " The World " 
— Preaching Christ according to the Scriptures — " Except ye become as 
Little Children " p. Sil 

The Christian's Hope. 
A Sermon Preached in St. Mark's Presb3''tevian Church, Greenwich, 
Dec. 31, 1871 p. 384 

The Feast of Pentecost. 
A Sermon Preached in Trinity Presbyterian Church, Notting Hill, 
Feb. 17, 1877 p. 403 

The AVise Virgins. 
A Sermon Preached in Belgrave Presbyterian Church, July 1, 1883 /;. 418 

Dr. Keith's Illness— The Archduchess p. 430 

Dr. Duncan's Wonderful Influence in Pesth p. 437 


Dr. Saphik's Uncle, Morttz G. Saphir. Poet and Satirist p. 444 




The Deputation of the Church of Scotland — Inquiry as to 
Fields for Jewish Missions — Visit to Pesth — How brought 
about — The Archduchess Maria Dorothfa and her Husband, 
the Prince Palatine — Dr. Keith's Illness — Friendship of 
the Archduchess, and her promise of Protection to the 

THE life of Adolph Sapliir is so intimately 
associated with the mission of the Church 
of Scotland, and, after the "Disruption" of 1843, 
with the mission of the Free Church of Scotland, 
to the Jews at Pesth or Buda-pest in Hungary, 
that it is necessary to give a short account of 
the most remarkable early history of that mission, 
in order to explain his preparation for his future 
work. The more we consider the lives of men, 
especicillv of those raised up for important purposes, 
the more clearly do we see the Divine guidance, 
even in minute affairs, in preparing them for the 
work, for which they have been specially designed. 
In his case the guidance is very clearly traceable. 


In the year 1837, Avhen there was the beginning 
of a great religious revival in Scotland, the Lord 
stirred up, in the hearts of many, earnest prayer for 
Israel. '' In that year," said Dr. Andrew Bonar,"^ 
" when the meeting of the General Assembly was 
near at hand, a goodly band of ihQ friends of Israel 
consulted together, and a memorial was drawn up 
by Mr. E. Wodrow and presented to the Assembly, 
l^ressing on them the claims of that ancient nation. 
The memorial was favourably received.'' 

The father of the Jewish mission was this Mr. 
Wodrow of Glasgow. Long before the deputation 
was sent out in 1839, as appeared after his death 
from his private journal, he was accustomed to 
devote whole days to fasting and prayer on behalf 
of Israel. The hearts of others were kindled. A 
widespread interest was awakened. He addressed 
a most powerful " appeal to the children of Israel 
in all the lands of their dispersion," which was 
circulated extensively. His wife, after his death, 
visited many of the Continental towns, where Jews 
were most numerous, circulating this letter. It has 
been recently republished with a preface by Dr. 
Andrew Bonar. Mr. Wodrow died on June 27, 

The immediate cause of the sending of this 
deputation or commission of inquiry was a sug- 
gestion of the late Dr. Candlish. The well-known 

^ Since this was written, Dr. Andrew Bonar, beloved of 
all who knew him, — so childlike in faith, and yet so able 
and accomplished, — one of the warmest advocates of .Jewish 
missions, has been suddenly taken to his rest. 


Eobert M'Cheyne was threatened with consumption, 
and he had been ordered to seek a railder climate. 

The Rev. Dr. Moody Stewart said at the Jewish 
Mission Jubilee in 1889: — "It occurs to me as 
vividly as if it had been yesterday, when I met 
Dr. Candlish one afternoon in Ainslie Place, and 
we spoke of Eobert M'Cheyne having been advised 
to go abroad for his health. The conversion of 
Israel, in which Dr. Candlish was deeply inter- 
ested, had already been taken up by the General 
Assembly, but without the adoption of any practical 
steps. With the sanctified fertility of resource that 
characterized him, he said to me, ' Don't you think 
it might be well to send jM'Cheyne to Palestine to 
inquire into the state of the Jews?' — to which I 
cordially assented, and he followed it up, with all 
his promptness and ardour." 

Out of this suggestion there arose the idea of 
a deputation to visit Palestine, and other countries 
with Jewish populations, for the purpose of making 
inquiries and investigations, and selecting the best 
fields of labour. The deputation appointed at the 
General Assembly of 1838, was composed of four 
remarkable men, — two of them of age and experi- 
ence. They were Dr. Keith of St. Cyrus, famed 
for his book on fulfilled prophecy ; Dr. Black, 
Professor of Divinity in Aberdeen ; Mr. M'Cheyne ; 
and Mr. Andrew Bonar. The deputation sailed 
from Dover on the morning of April 5, 1839. 
The story of its labours was published in 1842, 
under the title of A Narrative of a Mission 


of Enquiry to the Jews. It excited great 
interest at the time ; and, even now, after the 
lapse of so many years and the immense increase 
of knowledo^e as res^ards Palestine, this book holds 
its place, as one of the most interesting records 
of travel in the sacred territory. No travellers, 
before or since, have entered so fully into the spirit 
of the scenes, recalling easily and naturally, as they 
visited them, the sacred impressions with which 
they are associated. M'Cheyne's beautiful poem 
on the lake of Galilee can never be forgotten. 

The Church of Scotland had no idea of estab- 
lishing a mission in any part of the Austrian 
Empire, as its Government was at that time so 
intolerant as to make any such attempt appear hope- 
less. The deputation of inquiry did not therefore 
even propose to visit Hungary, although it was well 
known that there was a very large Jewish population 
there. Hungary, with its dependencies, Tran- 
sylvania and Croatia, contains altogether a popula- 
tion of from fourteen to sixteen millions of people. 
Almost the whole country embraced the prin- 
ciples of the Eeformation at first, but terrible and 
crushing persecutions arose, by which the Jesuits 
nearly stamped out Protestantism. The number of 
Protestants was reduced from an overwhelming 
majority to a small minority of the population. 
At present they are reckoned under three millions. 
In 1841 the spirit of Kationalism had undermined 
the Protestant Church. 

P>ut God had other purposes, which in His 


providence He accomplished in a wonderful way. 
As the deputies were travelling on camels from 
Egypt across to Palestiue, Dr. Black, falling asleep 
on the back of his camel, slipped down on the 
sand. " It seemed," says Dr. Bonar, speaking at the 
Jubilee meeting of 1889, ''an ordinary accident, and 
after returning home I met Dr. Guthrie, who said 
to me, in his own humorous way : ' But tell me 
about our old friend, the Professor from Aberdeen, 
what kind of impression did he make on the 
sand?'" He could not tell him much as to the 
impression on the sand ; but it was that fall, 
proving more serious in its effects than was thought 
at the time, which led Dr. Black and Dr. Keith to 
take the route homeward by the Danube. They 
reached Pesth as mere passing travellers, but 
resolved to make some inquiry as to the number 
and state of the Jews in that city. 

Strangely enough, the wife of the Archduke 
Joseph, uncle to the Emperor, and Viceroy of 
Hungary, by birth a Princess of the Protestant 
House of Wlirtemburg, residing at that time in 
her husband's (the Prince Palatine's) palace, was 
expecting the arrival of some stranger, who would 
bring with him a blessed influence to Hungary. 
The Archduchess Maria Dorothea had been brought 
to an earnest love of the truth, some years before, 
through no human instrumentality. Having to pass 
through the deep waters of affliction, in the death 
of a much-loved son, she had betaken herself to the 
Bible, and " in the Bible she met with Jesus." She 


was attached to Hungary, and became intensely 
interested in its spiritual welfare. She stood alone, 
" like a sparrow on the housetop,' as she used her- 
self to say. Her eldest boy, who had become a 
true Christian, was early removed from her. In 
her solitude she prayed earnestly for a Christian 
friend and counsellor. " The palace in which she 
resided stands on an eminence, looking down on 
the Danube flowing beneath, and on the city of 
Pesth, on the opposite bank of the river. Her 
private boudoir lay towards the front of the building. 
There, in the deep embrasure of a window, she was 
accustomed, day by day, to pour out her supplica- 
tions to God — looking down on the scene below — 
the city with its 100,000 inhabitants, and the vast 
Hungarian plains stretching away behind it in the 
distance. For about the space of seven years she 
had been praying to God for the arrival of some 
one who would carry the gospel to the people 
around." "Sometimes her desire became so intense 
that, stretching out her arms towards heaven, she 
prayed almost in an agony of spirit that God 
would send at least one messenger of the Cross to 
Hungary." Dr. Keith learned afterwards from her 
own lips that during the fortnight before she had 
heard of his illness, she invariably awoke, night 
after night, with the exception of once, in the 
middle of the night, at the same hour, with a 
strong and irrepressible conviction that something 
was to happen to her. After a watchful and most 
anxious hour, it passed away, when she had her 


usual and undisturbed rest, and hearing of the 
seemingly dying minister of Christ at the hotel, 
she said within herself, '* This is what was to 
happen to me " : and from that night her sleep 
was unbroken by any disturbing thought. In that 
impression lay the key wdiereby a door was opened 
in Pesth. When Dr. Keith recovered, and learned 
from the Archduchess the story of her longings and 
prayers, he had not much difficulty in seeing the 
hand of God, plainly directing their journey, and 
bringing them as Christ's messengers to Hungary. 

Dr. Keitb lay for weeks in a state of extreme 
prostration. " At one stage of his illness," he 
relates, " I fainted away, I became insensible, w^hile 
two men waited by my bedside to carry me away, 
as soon as I should breathe my last. At this time the 
only sigu of life w^as in the dimness of a mirror 
held close to my face."^ The Archduchess came to 
his bedside, and ministered to him with her ow^n 
hands, and watched tenderly over him. As he 
became better, he had ample opportunity of becom- 
ing acquainted, from her, with the state of the Jews 
in Hungary, and also with the religious w^ants of 
Hungary itself. He received from her the assur- 
ance that, should the Church of Scotland consent 
to plant a mission in Pesth, she would protect it 
to the utmost of her power. 

The hand of God was surely manifest in all these 

^ In Appendix A, we give a description of this illness and 
the events accompanying it, as written by Dr. Keith himself 
for the Sunday at Home of 1867. 


events. The fall from the camel of Dr. Black ; the 
detention by illness of Dr. Keith in Pesth, which 
there had not been the smallest intention of even 
visiting, as the idea of a mission in Austria or 
Hungary was considered out of the question ; the 
prayers of the Archduchess and her expectation of 
the arrival of some British missionary ; her discovery 
of Dr. Keith and many conversations with him ; her 
earnest desire that the mission should be established, 
and her promises of protection to it — furnish a 
chain of events which cannot be explained, apart 
from the direct guidance of God. The most 
sceptical would show only their own folly and 
narrowness, in attempting to deny such guidance 
in the circumstances. The origin of the mission 
was not of man, but of God. The call resembled 
that in the vision of the man of Macedonia to the 
Apostle Paul, " Come over and help us." 

This was clearly recognized by Dr. Keith. After 
his recovery and return he urged the importance 
of Pesth as a mission centre, — at first without much 
success. But he urged it again and again, so that 
some spoke of it as Dr. Keith's pest. He suc- 
ceeded at last. The mission to Pesth was resolved 
upon, and was begun, after the lapse of a year, 
with far-reaching and blessed results to Adolph 
and the Sapliir family, and the Jewish work- 
throughout the world. 



"Eabbi" Duncan the First Missionary — His great Popularity 
and Influence among Jews and Christians — Mrs. R. 
Smith instructs the Daughters of the Archduchess, viz. the 
present Queen of the Belgians and the Mother of the 
present Queen of Spain — The Spirit of Inquiry. 

THE first mission aiy to the Jews in Pesth was 
a man whose fame is in all the Churches — Dr. 
Duncan, or Eabbi Duncan, as he was afterwards 
afi'ectionately called when Professor of Hebrew in 
Edinburgh, regarding whose absence of mind many 
strange and extraordinary tales are told, as of the 
great Neander in Germany. He was not only a 
great Hebrew scholar, but a man of profound philo- 
sophic insight, who had been almost an infidel in 
his earlier days, and who was the more powerful in 
his defence of truth, on account of the difficulties 
through which he had then passed. His thorough 
knowledg-e of Hebrew was fitted to o;ain him 
influence among the Jews, and he could converse 


fluently in Latin, which was then much used in 
conversation by the learned in Hungary, both 
Jews and Christians. It was , even the language 
of parliamentary debates. Dr. Duncan having 
been set apart in Ghxsgow, in May, for this 
mission work, reached his destination on August 
21, 1841, accompanied by Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Allen. Mr. Wingate arrived later. There was a 
strange mysterious expectation of success from 
the very beginning. " When," says Mr., now 
Dr. Smith, " we took our departure for our future 
home, we felt wafted along by the breath of 

They were received by the Archduchess with 
great cordiality. She at once visited them, and 
they were frequently guests at the Palace. Thus 
their position was made secure. Without her pro- 
tection, or rather that of her husband the Archduke 
Joseph, the Palatine, they could not have remained 
for a month. Even with that protection it would 
have been difficult, as the position of a foreign 
missionary or minister could not then be legally 
recognized, had there not happened to be in Pesth 
a number of English workmen, employed at the 
time in building a bridge. Services were begun 
for them, in a room prepared for the purpose. This 
furnished an ostensible reason for the residence of 
the missionaries. They dared not, at that period, 
mention the name of the Archduchess in the 
correspondence, as the authorities in Vienna would 
have taken alarm. She, however, was constantly 


interviewed by them, and both she and the Palatine 
knew well all they were doing. Mrs. Smith, wife 
of one of the missionaries, was employed in teach- 
ing two of her daughters English — one of them 
now Queen of the Belgians, the other, the mother 
of the present Queen of Spain. The Archduchess 
w^as compelled by the Imperial law to bring them 
up as Eoman Catholics, but she taught them in 
the Scriptures, and sought earnestly, and with 
much prayer, to impress on them the truths of 
the gospel. 

Services were held on the Lord's Day, in English, 
and a number of Jews and others soon began to 
attend them, partly for the purpose of perfecting 
their knowledge of English. Dr. Duncan very soon 
got into intercourse with distinguished Jews, in- 
cluding the Chief Kabbi, and also with leading 
pastors of the Protestant Hungarian Church, and 
even with influential priests of the Romish Church. 
He became engaged in keen controversy with 
Jewish theologians. He acquired great respect 
among the learned men of the Jews, on account 
of his intimacy with their language and literature. 
He took an interest in their schools, and attended, 
by special invitation, the public examination, 
taking part in it, and giving prizes. He gave 
for prizes two Hebrew^ Bibles and two Torahs, 
which being by far the best prizes given, were 
much admired, especially as coming from the 
Eng^lish " Geistlicher." The Doctor also gave 
the head-master an English Bible, including of 


course, the New Testament. The Chief Eabbi 
(Schwab) was inclined to be most friendly. Dr. 
Duncan and all his assistants were invited to 
attend the initiation of a young Jew. Dr. Duncan 
was also invited by the Chief Eabbi to the 
marriage of his daughter with a young Eabbi, 
and the bridegroom expressed his delight at 
seeing a man of whose fame he had heard so 

Dr. Duncan wrote from Pesth in regard to his 
work — " It has not been with Jews, but with Deists 
we have had to do. The main effort has been 
to maintain the true and proper inspiration of 
Scripture, in opposition to the ignis fatuus of 
rationalizing mysticism ; everything great and 
good, they say, is a development of the human 
mind progressing to its perfection, which as it 
does under a Divine government, every such ad- 
vance may be called a Divine revelation." 

The close connection which Dr. Duncan showed 
to exist between the Old and New Testaments, 
attracted especial attention among the Jews. The 
notion had been almost universal that the Jews 
had one Bible, and the Christians another. It was 
no uncommon thing to hear a Christian and a Jew 
dispute, on the comparative merits of the two 
Bibles. It was interesting to witness the surprise 
of the Jews when they heard that St. Paul based 
his system upon Moses, found language for his 

^ For further information as to the great impression made 
by Dt-. Duncan, see Appendix B, 


aspirations in the writings of David, and was 
cheered by the bright visions of the future glory 
of his nation, as portrayed by Isaiah. All this 
roused the spirit of inquiry. His sermons were 
listened to with great attention, and produced no 
small effect. Besides this, his conversations, his 
simple, earnest unfolding of the deepest truths, 
were much appreciated. The influence which he 
acquired in a short time was extraordinary. Mr. 
Wingate wrote : — Few stations are more difficult 
of access from the nature of the laws, and few 
require more peculiar qualifications, when once in 
the country ; eminent Christian prudence, native 
courteousness of manner, with that self-denial which 
enables a man to exhibit aflPability at all times and 
seasons, to men who may come on the most trifling 
and unimportant matters, with such an amount of 
learning and acquirements as place him, in secular 
learning, on a footing with the most accomplished 
worldlings. Such qualities meet in Dr. Duncan, 
and they have been so appreciated and blessed by 
the Lord, and ivcdls of prejudices have been so 
broken down in one short year, that his society is 
courted, and his influence in the city has already 
become great for piety and learning. 

Dr. Duncan's stay did not last very long. In 
a year he had to get leave of absence on account of 
failure of health, when he went to Italy to recruit. 
After his return, and a short second period at 
Pesth, he was recalled to Scotland to become the 
first Professor of Hebrew in the Free Church of 


Scotland, which had just been constituted. The 
impression he had made did not pass away. The 
colleagues whom he left, the Kev. E. Smith and 
the Eev. W. Wingate, were well fitted to sustain 
it. A visit of the Rev. Charles Schwartz, well 
known as a missionary to his Jewish kindred, who 
preached in German, produced a great effect, and 
the work, which had almost from the very first had 
most remarkable results, continued to extend and 
prosper. The impression Dr. Duncan, had made 
was not forgotten by Jews or Gentiles, Protestants 
or Roman Catholics. 




The Three Brothers — The Father of Adolph, Israel Saphir — 
His Learning and great Influence in Hungary — The Simul- 
taneous Conversion of Father and Son — Adolph's Avowal 
of his Faith' -Reminiscences of Adolph's Cliildhood by his 
Sister — Dr. Keith's Report — References to Adolph's lather 
— The Saphir Family. 

ONE family began to be frequently referred to 
in the letters of the missionaries. It was 
a family well known in Hungary, and greatly re- 
spected by the Jews. For two generations at least 
it had been much distinguished. The grandfather 
of Adolph Saphir was learned in the Jewish law, 
and had much influence among his co-religionists. 
He had three sons, one of whom became famous 
through all Germany as a wit and poet, being by 
many considered the fitting successor of the re- 
nowned Jean Paul Eichter. His name was Moritz, 
originally Moses, Gottlieb Saphir.^ He is recognized 
as one of the great literary men of the period, and 
long biographies appear of him in most German 
biographical dictionaries. His wit was so sharp 

1 For an interesting sketch, written at the time of his death, 
in a journal which he founded, and owned to the last, see 
Appendix C. 


and pungent that he had to leave several States, 
in which he gave offence to the petty rulers. 
Israel Saphir, the father of Adolph, was the eldest 
of the three brothers. He was a merchant, origin- 
ally a wool-broker — a man of good education, of a 
studious nature, well up in Hebrew and in Hebrew 
law, and accomplished in many departments of 
knowledge and science. He was most active as 
an educationist. He projected and carried out an 
educational institute in Pesth, with a staff' of eight 
professors, in which the children of the better 
classes were educated. Adolph thus describes his 
father — " My father, Israel Saphir, a brother of the 
w^ell-known writer, M. G. Saphir, was a merchant. 
He was a good Hebrew scholar, and had intimate 
knowledge of German, French, and English litera- 
ture. He also jDursued with zeal, philosophical and 
theological studies, and rendered much service to 
the cause of education in Hungary." The third 
brother was also a man of ability, father of one of 
the PTcatest linoaiists of the day who is now at the 
head of the Oriental University Institute at Woking. 
Adolph's father was well known among all the 
Jews of Hungary. When Dr. Keith lay ill in Pesth, 
he made especial inquiry for some one of respect- 
ability, intelligence, and candour, on whom he could 
thoroughly depend for information respecting the 
state of the Jews. He was at once emphatically 
told that there was no man like Saphir, from whom 
he could get the requisite information — that he 
was looked up to by the Jews as the most learned 


person amoDg them. Accordingly he saw him, 
and had much conversation with him. His habits 
were literary. He was a master of German litera- 
ture. When the mission was commenced, he had 
just begun to study English. Actuated chiefly by 
a desire to advance his knovvledo^e of Eno-lish, he 
appeared regularly at the services of Dr. Duncan, 
leading his son Adolph, then eleven or twelve years 
of age, by the hand. Gradually the truth reached 
his heart, and he recognized in Jesus of Nazareth 
the Messiah foretold by the prophets. His little 
son, with an intellect always keen, became con- 
vinced at the same time ; — both, however, being 
reticent on the subject. The silent influences were 
brought to light in a very unexpected way, and by 
the action of the son. One morning Adolph re- 
quested his father to allow him to ask the blessing 
at breakfast. On permission being given, he poured 
out an earnest, short prayer, in the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. The consternation in the family, 
and shortly thereafter in the Jewish quarter, where 
they lived, was great. " By and by," says Mr. 
Wingate, who gives this account, *• we heard that 
the Jews were saying that the Holy Ghost had 
fallen on Saphir's son, and that he expounded the 
Scripture as they had never heard it expounded 
before." Adolph himself makes this reference — 
" Through the instrumentality of Scotch mission- 
aries my father saw the truth as it is in Christ 
Jesus, and was received into the Christian Church 
in 1843, at the age of sixty- three years. I, at that 


time a lad in my twelfth year, was the first of our 
family to accept the gospel." 

Mrs. Schonberger, nee Johanna Saphir — the only 
surviving sister of Dr. Saphir — has written for us 
the following reminiscences of his childhood : — 

Adolph Saphir was by nature of an unusually 
delicate constitution, and very often his parents 
were in great anxiety as to the way and means to 
keep the child alive. After a few years of great 
care and studied attention he seemed to get on 
fairly well. Adolph was considered a very good- 
lookiug child, with a fair, transparent complexion, 
beautiful, large, blue eyes, full of intelligence and 
expression. His father was devoted to him, and, 
as he occupied a prominent position at one of the 
first and best private schools at Buda-pest, he w^as 
most anxious to send his little son Adolph to that 
school at the age of four years, not so much for 
learning, but simply for the purpose of amusement, 
to divert his active little mind. 

The teacher, however, soon became aware of 
the fact that the child was not only amusing him- 
self, but was taking in every ivord he heard. To 
the great astonishment of the teacher, the child 
was able to answer all his questions. 

The brilliant result ought to have made his 
father remove him at once from school ; but this 
was not done, and his great mental activity there, 
at such an age, may in some measure account for 
his nervousness in later life. From that time 


little Adolpli was considered quite a genius — 
an example to all the children. He was the first 
and best scholar in the school, passing all examin- 
ations with honour, and getting the first prizes, to 
the great joy and satisfaction of his teachers, and 
also to the astonishment of the audiences present 
at the examinations. 

He passed the sixth form at the age of nine 
years, and his father removed him from school, as 
this was the highest and last class. But now a 
great difiiculty arose, as to how and in what method 
to proceed with his education — he being still too 
young to attend the University. 

In the meantime little Adolph was as anxious 
as his father. He was thirsting after more pro- 
gress in all branches of hio^her knowleds^e, and 
a teacher was found who was a master in Greek 
and Latin, and all that was fitted to arouse his 
mind and intellect. After private study with this 
teacher for two years, he was ready to pass an 
examination, at the Gymnasium of Bada-pest. 
The result w^as a great triumph. The professors 
were startled with his knowledge, at so early an 
age, and could not say enough in regard to his 
abilities, uncommon intelligence, and impressiveness 
for everything good and noble. 

At the age of eight he wrote German poems, 
which, to the regret of the family, were lost. 

The most strikino- features in his character 


were his gentleness and humility, and his strong 
affection for his parents, especially for his mother. 


He never gave cause for dissatisfaction, and thus 
lie was never punished in any way. The writer of 
this sketch only remembers one occasion, when his 
mother seemed displeased with him. Noticing it, 
he suddenly knelt down before her, imploring her 
to forgive him, with the most solemn promise that 
he would be very good in future. This was a 
most affecting and touching incident, not to be 
easily forgotten. 

He was of such a refined and delicate mind that 
anything which was in the least contrary to his 
impression of right, young as he was, made him 
feel quite miserable and sad. He suffered, during 
his early studies, from an accident. A heavy 
weight of one of the large clocks, that come 
from the Black Forest, fell on his head, when he 
was alone in the room. He was found lying on 
the ground, quite stunned by the heavy blow. 
Fortunately his tutor, who happened to be also a 
doctor, came to the rescue, and after some time he 
seemed himself again. This accident, the writer of 
this sketch thinks, must have told on him all his 
life long, as his head was especially delicate and the 
cause of suffering. 

Little Adolph was favoured and loved by Jews 
and Gentiles, and even now he is remembered and 
honoured in his native town, after nearly halt a 
century. His sister concludes her sketch by noticing 
his studies at Berlin, and his connection with the 
Irish Jewish Mission at Hamburg — events to which 
we shall refer afterwards — and then adds : — Little 


Adolph hardly associated when young with any 
of his school-fellows. He was shy and very timid, 
easily frightened when the boys were rough and 
rude — and he thus rather kept aloof. After his 
baptism some of his little Jewish school-fellows 
mocked and ridiculed him for becoming a Christian. 
He, however, replied with so much dignity and 
decision that they were soon silenced, and became 
in fact ashamed of their attacks. 

And now we come to the great movement in 
Pesth, and its effect on the Saphir family. We 
have spoken of the deep impression made by the 
services and conversations of Dr. Duncan and his 
coadjutors, Messrs. Wingate and Smith. Dr. Smith 
thus describes the early progress ^ : — About mid- 
summer in 1842, the little company was greatly 
quickened by a visit from various Christian friends, 
natives of different countries, who without pre- 
vious concert arrived in Pesth on the same day, 
and indeed by the same steamer. This remarkable 
coincidence was evidently of the Lord, and it was 
resolved to turn it to account. For fourteen days 
we continued together in prayer and thanksgiving. 
It was a time of special refreshing from the presence 
of the Lord. We remembered the parting words : 
"Go ye into all the world ; and lo, I am with you 

1 The Rev. Dr. Robert Smith, now of Corsack in Dumfries- 
shire, then one of the missionaries, wrote a series of excellent 
articles on the mission, in the Sunday at Home of 1866. Our 
quotations from him are chiefly from those articles, but some 
from letters written at the time, 


alway." And as we communed one with another in 
the Word, and poured out our hearts at the rnercy- 
seat, we felt that the Lord Jesus was indeed in the 
midst of us, walking among the candlesticks as of 
old, and the hearts of all were greatly enlarged. 
The well thus opened in the desert continued to 
flow, and to follow us in our way as a living 
stream. From that time a manifest blessino; bes^an 
to descend. German services were established, 
which were attended by great numbers of Jews, 
and a powerful impression was made. This im- 
pression deepened week by week, and as winter 
approached the work of conversion began. 

It was about this time that the visit of the Rev. 
Charles (afterwards Dr.) Schwartz took place, to 
which we have referred. He remained for some 
time preaching regularly in German. Many Jews 
came to hear him, and the impressions already 
made on the Saphir family were much deepened. 

Dr. Keith said in his report to the General 
Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland in 

While I was in Pesth an aged and respectable 
Jew was specially recommended to me as one of 
the most learned among them, and the most capable 
of giving every requisite information concerning 
his brethren. He conversed freely on the history 
of the Jews in Hungary, and referred me to the 
best authorities on that subject, which he at first 
imagined was the object of my inquiry. But he was 
at first more reluctant, than other Jews general! v 


were, to speak of their religious opinions, and it was 
only after a preliminary conversation that I could 
get him at all to enter on the question of the 
Messiahship of Jesus. More than in most other 
instances, it was necessary, in dealing with him, to 
become as a Jew to the Jews. But when the 
testimony of the prophets was brought plainly 
before him, he was deeply moved, and said, " It is 
very hard to give up in old age opinions cherished 
from youth, and never doubted." He soon became 
an earnest inquirer. Having thrice missed me that 
day, he called the fourth time, of his own accord, 
at my lodgings, on the evening before I left 

The father and his son Adolph were convinced 
at the same time that Jesus was the Messiah, and 
when lie became convinced, the patriarch never hesi- 
tated as to the course to be taken ; but he delayed 
his baptism in his anxiety to bring his whole family 
with him. His son Philipp, of whom we shall have 
much to say afterwards, was baptized on April 4, 
1843, by one of the chief Hungarian pastors, 
the Rev. Paul Tor ok, who was very friendly with 
the missionaries and baptized all the converts, it 
not being lawful for foreigners to perform minis- 
terial offices for Austrian subjects. Philipp had been 
impressed by the preaching of Mr. Schwartz, and 
he wrote to him expressing the joy that he felt 
in being admitted into the Church of Christ. But 
Philipp's conversion took place when he and 
two others were affectionately ministering to Mr. 


Wino^ate, who had met with an accident, and re- 
quired to be attended to, day and night. He and 
Alfred Edersheim and another volunteered to take 
turns in this loving service, and Philipp, deeply- 
troubled in mind, sought counsel from Mr. Win- 
gate, and suddenly saw and rejoiced in the light. 
Old Mr. Saphir had everything to lose, but he 
counted all things but loss for the excellency to 
be found in Christ. Dr. Smith says : — He was 
perhaps the most learned Jew^ in Hungary, and 
held in universal respect for probity and upright- 
ness of character. He was in truth a sort of 
Gamaliel in the nation. He was the bosom friend 
of the Chief Rabbi, and the most leading and 
trusted man in every benevolent and useful under- 
takino\ A hundred other conversions could not 


have produced the same impression as his. 

Mr. Wingate, in writing before the baptism, thus 
referred to him : — 

The Lord has remarkably visited Mr. Saphir's 
family, and we look forward to their being the first 
who will be called to profess publicly their faith in 
Christ, and obedience to Him. This will be a 
severe blow to the kingdom of Satan, which he has 
so long held undisturbed in Judaism. Mr. Saphir 
is known throughout the whole community, and 
the rumours of his conversion to the truth have 
been shakino; the Jews here, like the heavino-s of 
a coming earthquake. For man)' years his un- 
blemished character, extensive learning, not only 
as to Jewish but ofeneral literature, having at the 


cio-e of fifty-four mastered the Englisli language for 
no other reason than that he might be able to read 
Shakespere in the original; — all these circumstances, 
combined with his ^^atriotic endeavour to raise his 
nation, by the erection and formation of the largest 
Jewish school in Hungary, had endeared him to 
tlie Jews. His opinion was, as it were, law ; and 
that he should be about to declare Judaism, which 
he had studied for forty years, to h^ a way of deatli 
and not of life was sufficiently startling. He is 
about sixty years of age, but his mind is full of 
youthful vigour, and he has great energy of 
character. Dr. Duncan's many conversations have 
greatly impressed him, and the conflict with the 
natural enmity and unbelief of the heart has 
been long and deep ; but the Lord was deepening 
the Word, and now we commend him and his 
interesting family — of wife, three sons, and three 
daughters, and a Jewish servant — to the jDrayers of 
God's children. 

Some little time ago, when Mr. Saphir's state of 
mind was talked of among the Jews, the princij^al 
Kabbi here, his former intimate friend, preached 
from Isaiah liii., explaining the passage after the 
manner of the Jews, and denouncing in fearful 
terms the man who would give up his children to 
those who wxre outside of their community, viz. the 
Christians. Mr. Saphir was in the synagogue at the 
time, and knew that all this was levelled at him. 
But this tirade, though it exposed him to the 
enmity of the Jews, confirmed him in liis deter- 


mination to hold fast to the Lord Jesus. Soon 
after, before the annual meeting for the election of 
directors to the Jewish Seminary, the Eabbi sent 
privately to inform him that it was the intention 
of the Jews to expel him, and begging him, if his 
mind was quite made up to leave the synagogue, 
to send in his resignation. He accordingly resigned 
his oliice of principal Director to the school, which 
he had so many years watched over and superin- 
tended. He has suffered much at the hands of his 
brethren As in the case of Job, they used to rise 
up at his approach, but some dared now even to 
revile him and mock him. His high character has 
silenced many, and the Eabbi has declared, that 
notwithstanding all, Mr. Saphir is an honourable 
man. Eelatives and friends weep, and try all means 
to effect a change in his purpose, but in vain. 

It may be mentioned here that Dr. Schwab, the 
Eabbi of Buda-pest, had communications with him, 
as long as he lived. He was accustomed frequently 
to meet him at a private room of one of the 
booksellers, in that city. 

Mr. Israel Saphir's wife, of Bohemian extraction, 
nSe Henrietta Bondij, was an attractive woman of 
gentle disposition, to whom her son Adolph bore 
much resemblance. She also, after some time, 
became convinced of the Messiahship of Jesus, and 
declared her readiness to follow her husband and to 
profess Christianity ; but she was in much perplexity 
about the worldly difficulties, in which open profes- 
sion of faith by baptism might involve them. The 


whole family became simultaneously influenced, 
except an elder son by a former marriage. For six 
months the father had delayed his own baptism, 
that he might bring his family with him. Dr. 
Smith, writing in Feb. 1843, thus describes their 
state, and refers touchingly to the young Adolph : — 
The eldest daughter we believe to be now a 
Christian. She is under regular instruction for 
baptism. Her little brother, eleven and a half years 
of age (but of small stature), receives instruction at 
the same time. I feel confident that this child, if he 
is not being prepared for speedy removal to another 
world, is being prepared for much good in this. He 
seems to have a peculiar delight in prayer. Hours 
together, w^e have reason to believe, have been some- 
times spent by him in this exercise. He and his 
sister have little prayer-meetings together, on behalf 
of the other members of the family. Nor have their 
prayers been unheard. The mother is now anxiously 
inquiring how her soul can be saved. The remain- 
ing two sisters have of their own accord offered 
themselves for instruction. The father stands fast, 
and grows in strength from day to day. The 
power of Divine grace has been wonderfully mani- 
fested in him. He has been universally looked up 
to as the most learned Jew in Hungary, and lias 
possessed so great weight of probity and character, 
that the Jews have been accustomed to regard him 
with feelings of the deepest respect, and even 
veneration. Yet, standing at the very head of his 
countrymen, and almost idolized by them, he has 


been enabled through grace to count all things 
but loss for the excellency to be found in Christ 

We had for some time watched with intense 
interest the progress of his mind. At length we 
felt ourselves justified, about a week ago, to request 
an interview, and to call upon him, in the name of 
the Lord Jesus, to come forth from among his 
brethren, and make a public profession of Christ's 
name. The way in which he responded to this 
call, and the views which he was led to express, 
filled us with unfeigned delight. We have reason 
to anticipate that his baptism will produce a great 
sensation among the Jews, not only here, but 
throughout Hungary. His high reputation for 
learning and uprightness shuts out at once the idea 
of incapacity or interested motive. That he is con- 
vinced and that he is capable of judging, are points 
which, whatever they may say in the heat of their 
anger, they will not be able to set aside to the 
satisfaction of their own minds. The great attain- 
ments of Mr, Saphir, the position Avhich he has 
occupied, and other circumstances, have impressed 
us deeply with the importance of his being publicly 
employed by the Church. Moreover, as he is quite 
familiar with the Greek and Eoman classics, and is 
a thorough master in all Jewish learning, we might, 
with his assistance, be enabled, with much advan- 
tao'e, to train up young men in immediate contact 
Avith the work, who might afterwards be stationed 
in different parts of tlie country. 




Mr. Saphir, his Wife and Daughters and Adolph [baptized in 
June 1843 — Crowded Assembly of Jews and others — Im- 
pressive Address of the Father — Secret First Communion 
— " Sound of the noiseless steps " — Earnestness of Young 
Adolph — Impression in Hungary and Germany - — 
Discussion in the Press — Striking Letter of Adolph' s 

THE household, consisting of father, sou, wife, 
and three daughters (Philipp having been 
baptized before, as we have mentioned, on his 
departure for Carlsruhe to be trained as a teacher), 
were baptized by Pastor Torok, in the Hungarian 
Reformed church, on Wednesday, June 7, 1843. 
Dr. Smith gives a graphic account of the whole 
scene : — 

All these, to the best of our discernment, had been 
made partakers of the grace of the Lord Jesus ; His 
glorious Name be praised ! — a whole family. How 
seldom such a sio'ht even in the most Christian 


land ! It is the Lord's doing, and wondrous in our 
eyes. On the morning of the baptism, the children 
were up, between three and four, for prayer. The 
sound of their sweet voices, at that early hour, 
gladdened and strengthened the parents' hearts. 


At his baptism, the father delivered an address, 
powerfully conceived and expressed, in which he 
gave solemn testimony, not only to the truths of 
the gospel, but also to the experience of it in his 
own soul. Such a testimony had never been 
borne in Pesth since the days of the Eeformation. 
He bore wdtness also to the change which he had, 
with his own eyes, seen effected in his wife and 
children. Pointing to them, as they stood around 
him, he declared the Spirit of God and the truth 
of God to have been the means of the spiritual 
trausformation. Altoofether, the sio^ht was most 
affectino'. To hear of an inward struororle between 

o o o 

grace and sin, issuing through the power of the 
Holy Ghost in a new^ birth of the soul, and that 
this, and not a mere change of opinion and of 
outward profession, was a true conversion from 
Judaism to Christianity, was something for w^hich 
the crowded assembly of Jews and others were 
quite unprepared. Many Jews and Gentiles wxre 
moved to tears, and not a few were led to inquire 
after the w^ay of salvation from that hour. There 
w\as a power, and simplicity, and truth in the 
words of the patriarchal Jew% as he stood in the 
midst of his family, and testified for himself and 
for them what God had done for their souls. It 
midit be seen, reflected in the riveted attention of 
all present, that these doctrines w^ere no trifles ! 
but that they entered into the very life of the 
soul. The attention and death-like stillness of the 
audience showed the depth of the impression then 


being made. Especially was every breath hushed 
when the moment of the great transition arrived, in 
which, by the washing with w^ater in the name of 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, this 
Jewish family, one by one, were publicly engrafted 
into Christ. It is true, there was no transition 
here from death to life. But the life which had 
been already communicated by Word and Spirit, 
now emerged into publicity before the eyes of God, 
of angels, and of men. In that hour a covenant 
was openly and irrevocably entered into, before 
many witnesses, between God and these children 
of Abraham, wdtli pledges of mutual fidelity and 
love. In a sense — and that a high and important 
one — they came there as Jew^s, they returned home 
rejoicing as Christians. 

We spent the evening of the day with the 
family. The joy, the peace, the love among them 
I shall not attempt to describe. It was the most 
lovely sight I ever beheld. The zeal of the father 
kindling anew and burning with more than usual 
brightness ; perfect peace resting on the but lately 
care-worn countenance of the mother ; the eldest 
daughter finding an outlet to her thankfulness and 
joy only in tears, and the little Benjamin of the 
family — Adolph — the first among them who had 
seen the Lord, hanging on his beloved teachers, 
the very picture of a happy child ; — such a scene 
was life to our souls. 

The servant of the family looked on bewildered, 
and wondering what all this meant. On that night 


impressions were made oii her heart, which issued 
later in her conversion. After praying with them, 
and exhorting them to continue steadfast in the 
faith, walkinof tooether in the comfort and love of 
the Spirit, and in the fellowship of all the holy 
brethren, we took our departure. 

Such a Avell of living w^ater could not be 
opened up amidst the dreary wastes of the Jewish 
community, and I may add of the Christian also, 
without attracting much observation. For a time, 
even all opposition was stayed. Men felt that a 
power was at work which they could not com- 
prehend, and which they were afraid to resist. Into 
not a few hearts the truth silently found its way ; 
in some cases resulting in a manifestly saving- 
change ; in others producing impressions, the nature 
of which the day of decision alone will declare. I 
shall never forget the occasion of the first dispensa- 
tion of the Lord's Supper, soon after this baj)tism, 
when the majority of those present wxre Jews. 
The meeting was held in an upper room, secretly, 
for fear of the Jews, and of the intolerant Austrian 
Government. Almost as soon as the service began 
a strange m}^sterious presence filled the place. A 
hushed silence fell on the little company, only 
occasionally broken by the suppressed sob of some 
burstino[ heart. AVhen the bread was broken and 
the wine poured forth, we felt as if for the time the 
conditions of the earth had passed away. We felt 
that the Kisen Lord was indeed present in the 
midst of us. And as we gazed upon Him, we saw 


the print of the nails, and the wound in His pierced 
side. An Irish barrister, Mr. Eawlins, who, w^ith 
his whole family, had been converted a short time 
before, and who afterwards became a clergyman of 
the Church of England, said to me on the follow- 
ing day — " I thought I heard the sound of His 
noiseless steps as He passed up and down in 
the midst of us." 

From that time the work went forward with great 
power. The little company of believers walked 
together in the fear of God, and in the unity of 
mutual love. And they testified all around to what 
they had seen and heard. The large Jewdsli com- 
munity of Pestli was perplexed, hot knowing what 
these things might mean. Indeed, for a time, the 
whole city was shaken. In public places of resort, 
the conversation of all classes turned on the strange 
things that had come to their ears. 

Dr. Smith continues : — These were blessed times 
worth living for. Within a few months about twenty 
persons were added to the Lord, and others received 
a new baptism of the Spirit. A general interest 
was aw^akened through the city. Even in the 
coffee-houses conversation was turned to the subject 
of religion. Wherever the converts went they 
carried the savour of Christ with them. Their 
demeanour was modest and unassuming, but what 
w\^s nearest their hearts could not be hidden. 
Their daily intercourse with each other w\as like 
that of a large united family, and w^as characterized 
in a remarkable dey-ree bv unanimitv, love, and 


mutual confidence. When any cause of difi'erence 
arose among them, they were wont to meet to- 
gether and lay the matter before the Lord, praying 
and conversing alternately, till they again saw, eye 
to eye. Thus their light shone out on all around, 
and men were forced to take knowledo^e of them 
that Jesus dwelt among them of a truth. 

In those days we were visited by many Christian 
brethren from various countries, who had heard 
that the Lord had visited this people. It is 
a curious fact that several of these, quite apart 
from each other, gave expression to the same 
idea, — that they felt as if sojourning for a season 
in one of the early Apostolic Churches. I re- 
member the remark made to me by one of them, 
that he would not be taken aback nor think it 
strange, should a letter from Paul or from Peter 
be handed in, by next morning's post. These 
were days of heaven upon earth. Sometimes I 
felt as if the ground were no longer solid under 
my feet. 

It is of special interest to notice the strong 
character and Christian ardour of Adolph at this 
early period of life. He was in a manner the 
leader of the movement. This zeal and decision 
burned with intensity all through his ministry 
in after years, and gave him such power as an 
almost Apostolic ambassador of Christ. Dr. Smith 
thus speaks of him : — Adolph visited, the other 
day, a Jewess of his acquaintance, who is also a 
neighbour. He spoke to her about her soul — of 


lier state by nature, and need of salvation. She 
said that all the neighbours marked a great change 
in the Saphir family ; that they seemed now so 
happy. " Yes," said Adolph, "we are happy because 
we have got reconciliation with God through the 
blood of His Son. We have peace in our con- 
sciences ; and that makes us happy." The con- 
versation ended in his engaging with her in prayer. 
His father and he seem to have exchanged with 
one another the characteristics belonoino- to their 
respective ages, or rather retaining the proper 
characteristics of youth and age — to have com- 
municated, the one to the other — the child impart- 
ing to the father the simplicity of childhood — the 
father imparting to the child almost the maturity 
of age. One beautiful and touching illustration 
of this we remark in the conversations they have 
with each other, like brother with brother, on 
the Sabbath evenings, over the truths they have 
been hearing in the English service, — in attending 
ujDon which they find great delight. 

Dr. Duncan, who had been away for a time from 
Pesth on account of health, returned in the summer 
of 1843. He wrote in regard to the Saphirs : — 
Mrs. Saphir we met in Vienna, with two of her 
daughters, whom she was conducting to a school 
at Kornthal, in Wiirtemburg, for the education of 
teachers. On her countenance there sparkled a 
joy which I had never seen there before. In fact, 
formerly she always looked miserable. Her talents, 
which are of a homely but useful and motherly 


kind, have also received a wonderful expression 
through the force of truth. Philipp Saphir, an 
elder son, is gone to Carlsruhe in Wurtemburg, 
to be educated for a teacher. The change pro- 
duced in him by the power of Christianity appears 
to have had a very strange influence on those 
who knew him before, who said they formerly 
despised him, as a foolish and disgraceful lad, but 
now could not help admiring him. I have seen 
some letters which he sent to his father. They 
seemed rather the production of an aged and 
experienced Christian, with a good deal of the 
faith, naivete, and pleasant quaintness, which dis- 
tinguished the style of the Puritans. Little A. 
is still a charming boy. He know^s English pretty 
well, and has during our absence prepared for 
me the books of Joshua and Judges in Hebrew. 
His father tells me, that sometimes he continues 
for a whole hour in prayer, the tears streaming 
from his eyes. He finds opportunity of speaking 
of Christ to Jewesses, who invite the child to 
their houses. Though treated by us as a man, 
and, no doubt, by them with foolish admiration, 
we have not seen one trait in him inconsistent 
with childlike simplicity and modesty. 

A great door w^as opened among literary young- 
men — students of philosophy, medicine, and the- 
ology. This success excited much persecution. 
The Jews organized, means to kee]) their brethren 
from visiting the missionaries. They also tried 
to get the authorities to interfere. Several articles 


appeared iu the Jaden Zeitnng, published at 
Leipzig, attacking the mission. A pamphlet was 
distributed in Pesth against it. A notice appeared 
in the well-known Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung, 
accusing the missionaries at Pesth of alluring, by 
money and all kinds of promises, the very dregs 
of the people, and also of interfering with the 
Roman Catholics. This last charge was intended 
to incite the Government to expel them, as all 
Protestant work among Roman Catholics was then 
strictly forbidden. These determined efforts to 
destroy the mission, testified to the great effect it 
was producing. 

The conversion of Mr. Sapliir and his family 
caused a great sensation among the Jews, who 
knew that as a Jew he had been remarkable for 
honesty and wisdom, and who could not believe 
that in becoming a Christian he was a deceiver. 
The Scriptures were therefore read in many Jewish 
houses with avidity. Christianity became a subject 
of study and conversation in Jewish families, and 
the missionaries found themselves too few to over- 
take the inquirers. It may be noted that Mr. 
Saphir's prayers were usuall}^ in Hebrew, and 
the words of the Psalter were constantly used, 
adapted to the special circumstances, and full of 
the original fire and force. Within about a year 
and a half from the establishment of the mission, 
thirty-five baptisms had taken place. These bap- 
tisms were conducted, as mentioned before, by the 
superintendent minister of the Eeformed Church 


of Hungary, Pastor Paul Torok. The iufluence 
of the mis.^ion was felt remarkably in quickening 
many of the clergy and their people, who had been 
sunk in rationalism. 

We give here an extract from a letter of old 
Mr. Saphir, w^hich breathes the simple Christian 
character of the man, and testifies to the influence 
of his conversion on the Jews. It is dated Pesth, 
April 11, 1844, and addressed to the Rev. C. 
Schwartz : — 

AVe have tolerably much to do, and the Lord 
is still pleased to countenance our labours. One 
veiy important feature in the mission here is tlie 
change that the feelings of the Jews have under- 
gone, since the missionaries settled at Pesth. 
Jews, without being shocked or wounded in their 
feelings, can now be addressed about the most 
important truths of the gospel, and they even 
quietly and calmly begin to consider with tlieir 
families, whether they should embrace Christianity 
or not. I can assure you (I humbly trust you 
won't believe that I am mentioning this out of 
self-love and vain-glory) that since I publicly 
professed Jesus as my Messiah, a new era has 
begun in the history of the Jews of Pesth, yea, 
even of Hungary. They were accustomed to look 
upon me, whether rightly or wrongly I do not 
say, as one w^ell acquainted with their own litera- 
ture, and somewhat versed even in profane science. 
The Rabbi himself confirmed the people in this 
opinion, since he seemed to prefer my acquaint- 


ance to any other, and was always anxious to 
show publicly how much he esteemed me. What 
will the poor man do now ? Can he at once 
despise and calumniate that man whom he shortly 
before publicly exalted and honoured, — and why ? 
Simply because I have embraced Christianity. And 
the uneducated people, again and again, put the 
c[uestion. Must we believe that the same Saphir, 
who we w^ere told even yesterday was a learned 
man, has at once become an ignorant one ; or 
that the same man who was, all his lifetime, an 
honest man, and whom we knew for thirty years 
as a sincere man, has suddenly turned out a 
deceiver and hypocrite ? 

All these conditions which, in the first moment 
of excitement and surprise, were overlooked, are 
now more coolly and impartially weighed ; the 
more — as they clearly see that we have not only 
professed Christ with our lips, but cannot deny, 
as I humbly trust, that we have been changed, — 
a new and living principle having been put into 
our hearts ; so that while, six months back, all 
with one accord calumniated, contemned, despised 
us ; now they are divided amongst themselves, and 
many begin to think that Saphir has really been 
converted, and to look at one another in surprise. 
I know all this from good authority ; and now, let 
me ask you : — Ma)^ we not hope that Christ will 
still more be glorified, and His kingdom still more 
advanced amongst us 1 God is my witness, this 
is the only thing, viz. Christ's glory, that fills my 


heart with unspeakable joy. Do not believe that I 
have mentioned this to you out of love to myself, 
or because I believe that I have done anything in it. 
I know that there is nothing good in me, and that 
we all come short, before that God who tries the 
reins and searches the hearts — yea, I pray daily 
that the Lord may free me more and more from 
selfishness, and fill me with true humility ; yet, 
not unto us, but unto His l)lessed Name be all 
glory and praise for ever. 




The Archduke and Archduchess foster tlie Mission — They 
encourage the sending of Evangelists all through Hungary 
— The Archduke's Peaceful Death in 184:7 — Subsequent 
persecution of the Archduchess — Her Death in 1855. 

DURING these remarkable events, the mission 
was constantly under the fostering care of 
the Archduchess and her husband, the Palatine. 
Thus the representatives of the Austrian Govern- 
ment, which vras so bigoted and oppressive, became 
its chief protectors. This was a most wonderful 
fact. The Archduchess frequently invited the mis- 
sionaries to the Palace, and rejoiced in their work 
and encouraged them in it. Her care was constant, 
or they could not have gone on. " She was," says 
Mr. Wingate, "weekly interviewed by some of us, 
and both she and the Palatine knew all we were 
doing. She was taught Hebrew by old Mr. Saphir, 
We were nearly as well known in the Palace as in 
the city of Buda-pest. Her Highness had a long 
correspondence with some of the mission party." 


Dr. Smith gives a special instance of the in- 
fluence of the Court in promoting the mission : — 
The report of the work in Pesth had gone forth 
everywhere, and awakened a very general spirit 
of inquiry in Hungary. Of this the missionaries 
wished to take advantai>^e. Six of the most oifted 
of the converts were trained with oreat care for 
two years, with a view to their being sent out as 
evangelists. But there was no immediate prospect 
of the door being opened. Such a thing as a 
proselytizing expedition through the towns and 
villages of Hungary was unheard of. and it seemed 
almost to be impossible under a Government so 
intolerant. The men were ready, but how were 
they to proceed ? We communicated our wishes 
to the Archduchess, who undertook to seize the 
first favourable opportunity to lay the whole matter 
before the Archduke, and boldly to solicit his pro- 
tection. Now mark the providence of God ! A few 
days later there occurred a violent outbreak among 
the peasants in Austrian Poland. A large number 
of the proprietors, with their wives and children, 
were massacred in cold blood, and many other 
frightful excesses were committed. The news had 
just reached Pesth. The Archduke, who was a 
just man, and sincerely desired to promote the 
welfare of the people according to the measure of 
his light, was greatly troubled. For a time he 
walked up and down in his chamber in deep thought, 
and greatly agitated. The Archduchess, coming in 
and finding him in this state, asked if an}" thing 


had happened to vex him. He answered, '' Nothing 
personally, but I have been thinking of those fearful 
atrocities in Poland, and I have come to the con- 
clusion that, unless the Bible be circulated among 
these people and they get good in this way, no 
other means will raise them from their present 
degradation." She was immediately ready with 
the reply, " If an attempt of this kind were made 
in Hungary, would you give it your protection ? " 
He said, ^*Yes, I certainly would." She then 
unfolded to him our whole scheme, which he highly 
approved of. He had often expressed his con- 
fidence in the prudence and circumspection of the 
Scotch missionaries. He now entrusted Jier with 
a message to us, to the effect that we should send 
out men with as little noise and public observation 
as possible, and that, if they met with any molest- 
ation from the authorities, they were on no account 
to offer resistance, but report the case at once to 
us, and we to him, and that he would take his own 
measures for its repression. Even he himself could 
not go beyond a certain point. His power was 
limited, and had it come to the knowledge of the 
supreme power in Vienna, that he was countenancing 
the circulation of the AVord of God, he might easily 
have been involved in trouble. The door now 
stood open. The messengers went forth, held many 
evangelistic meetings, and the Scriptures were 
circulated by thousands in the villages and towns 
throughout Hungary. It may be mentioned that 
commendatory letters were obtained from Superin- 


tendent Torok of the Eeformed Church, and 
Superintendent Dr. Szekasz of the Lutheran 
Church, to the pastors of all parishes in Hungary, 
asking them to do all they coukl to further 
the end in view — the distribution of the Bil^le 
and the preaching of the gospel to the Jews. 
And, in the course of four or five years, no town 
or village in Hungary had been left unvisited. 
The mission, conducted with great prudence from 
Dr. Duncan's time and onwards, carried with it 
the sympathy of both branches of the Protestant 
Church, and was the means of a great revival of 
religion. Dr. Duncan had friendly relations also 
witli the Eoman Catholic dignitaries, and he and 
his colleagues commanded their esteem. 

The Archduke Palatine died in 1847, a humble 
and believing penitent at the foot of the Cross. 
He had for many years been a regular reader of the 
Bible, but it was only when the shadows of the 
coming darkness gathered round him, that full 
spiritual light arose in his soul. Several months 
before his death he was seized with a violent illness, 
which threatened to carry him off. From this he 
partially recovered. A cloud passed over him for a 
time, but it was dissolved, and he became unusually 
cheerful. He acknowledg;ed afterwards that in 
the days of odoom he had been reviewioo- his 
past life, and had everywhere discovered sin, and 
that now he put his whole trust in the merits and 
righteousness of Christ. Soon afterwards his last 
illness began. A few hours before his death his 


wife said to liim, " As you are now so soon to stand 
before the judgment-seat of God, I wish to hear 
from you for the hist time what is the ground on 
which you rest your hope ? " His immediate reply 
w^as, "The blood of Christ alone,'' with a strong 
emphasis on the alone. 

Immediately after the death of her husband, the 
Archduchess was hurried off by Imperial mandate, 
against her will, to Vienna, where she underwent 
a species of banishment, or rather imprisonment. 
Separated from the brethren, watched on every 
side, surrounded with spies, her visitors reported 
at the Imperial Palace, her character and principles 
calumniated by the Jesuits — her days were indeed 
days of suffering and sorrow. 

The Eev. Dr. Keith thus describes her state at 
this time : — 

"Her palace in Vienna was to her like a prison. 
There her Christian zeal could be restrained. 
Christian fellowship, except rarely, and even cor- 
respondence with like-minded friends, were denied 
her. Letters from the Duchess of Gordon, though 
various modes of conveyance were tried, never 
reached her. ' That speaks volumes,' said one of 
the highest rank, when told it. Strange things 
were surmised about her in the Austrian Court, 
as if to justify cruel and unwarrantable conduct. 
Baron (the Chevalier) Bunsen asked me, 'Is she 
not — ' pausing like a courtier, but putting his hand 
to his head. 'Oh, yes,' smilingly, was my plain 
reply; ' she is beside herself, like the Apostle Paul ; 


and for the same reason, too — for Jesus' sake.' 
' Is that the case ? ' he asked. ' Most certainly,' I 
answered : ' otherwise she has as clear a head and 
as sound a judgment as either you or T have ' ('or,' 
I might have added, ' any one I know '). ' What 
else but mad can a truly devoted Christian be 
accounted in the popish House of Hapsburg ? ' " 
At times she was visited by the Protestant 
pastors of Pestli and by the Scottish missionaries, 
and occasionally she was permitted to visit Hun- 
gary. Though her circumstances were so dark, 
she liad light and joy within. And after the 
troubles of 1848, when the Government of Austria, 
under the influence of the reaction, attempted to 
extinguish the rights and liberties of the Protestant 
Church, she threw herself fearlessly into the breach. 
A short time before her death she went on a visit 
to Pesth. She was there taken ill with influenza, 
which soon assumed a typhoidal character, and 
ultimately reached the brain. Her son, the Arch- 
duke Joseph, and her daughter Elizabeth, w^ife of 
the Archduke jMax Ferdinand, both of them 
devotedly attached to her, were with lier during 
the illness, and the Protestant pastors of Pesth and 
Buda were admitted freely to her sick-bed. Slie 
died in peace, in full confidence of a glorious 
resurrection, on the 30th March, 1855. She died 
where she would have wished, among her Christian 
friends in Hungary, who were about her in her Inst 
hours, and witnessed her triumphant death. 




Adolph leaves Pesth with Edersheim and Tomory — How thev 
got away — Edersbeim's Conversion and Career — Kapid 
progress of the Mission — Troublous times — The Hungarian 
War — Great Success afterwards — The fields ripe unto 
Harvest — Expulsion of the Missionaries — Mission ^Yo^k 

AFTER tlie iDaptism of the Sp.phirs, tlieir light 
shone with increasins: brio-htness on all around 
them. Adolph became a zealous little Evangelist, 
and when Dr. Duncan prepared to go to Scotland 
to begin his professorial work in Edinburgh, old 
Mr. Saphir wished, much as he loved him, to 
give up his Benjamin, to be educated and prepared 
for the Christian ministry. xVnd so, after mucli 
prayer and consideration and sorrow of heart, it 
was resolved to part wdtli the loved Adolph, the 
bright spirit of the liome, to be trained for this 
most important work. All the members of tlie 
family, father and mother and sisters, even 
Adolph himself, acquiesced in the separation, as 
necessary for this purpose, but not without many 
tears. He left his fathers house in the autumn 


of 1843, and weut to Dr. Duncan to Edinburgh, 
that he might perfect his knowledge of English. 
He was then only twelve years of age, and 
having been the beloved companion of his fatlier, 
especially in their latter times of trial and of 
victory, the parting was a terrible wrench to the 
old man. Adolph was never able to return to 
Pesth, and he only once afterwards met his father, 
on the occasion of a visit of his parents to their 
daughter, Mrs. Schwartz, at Berlin. He could not 
return, even for a visit, on attaining manhood, as 
he would have been called on to serve in the army. 
The- method of his leaviuo; Pesth was in some 
ways as remarkable as the other events of the 
mission. It was resolved to send two others 
also — Alfred Edersheim and Alexander Tomory, 
both able converts of the mission — to complete 
their theological studies in Edinburgh ; but there 
was a difficulty in getting them away, as the 
Government of Austria would not allow its sul)- 
jects to leave the country, before they had per- 
formed their military service. Fortunately, the 
well-known Indian missionary, Dr. John AYilson 
of Bombay, arrived in Pesth at the time on his 
way to Scotland, accompanied by Duujaboi, a 
Parsee convert. He was regarded by the authori- 
ties as a man of distinction, and was therefore 
permitted to take with him persons in his service. 
Edersheim was appointed his secretary, Saphir 
and Tomory to other offices, and thus all three 
got away without interference. 


As Alfred Edersheim became afterwards well 
known, especially through his work, TJve Life 
and Times of the MessiaJi, a short account of his 
conversion and life, written by Mr. Wingate, 
will interest our readers : — 

i\.mong the many distinguished trophies of 
Divine grace which it has pleased the great Head 
of His Church to bestow on the Free Church of 
Scotland's mission to the Jews in Hungary, Dr. 
Saphir and Alfred Edersheim, D.D., Ph.D.,''M.A., 
Oxon., late Warburton Lecturer of Lincoln's Jnn, 
and Grinfield Lecturer of the University of Oxford, 
were the most distinguished. 

On reaching Buda-pest in 1847, young Eders- 
heim, then about seventeen, became a student at 
the University. He had been brought up luxuri- 
ously in Vienna, and w^as one of the leaders of 
fashion. He was highly educated, spoke Latin 
fluently, knew Greek, German, French, Hebrew, 
Hungarian, and Italian. When Cremieux, the head 
of the French bar, paid a visit to Vienna, the 
synagogue presented liim with an address, and 
deputed young Edersheim to deliver it. Cremieux 
was so pleased wath his eloquence, that he offered 
his father to take his son to Paris and provide for 
him for life, but his parents would not give him 
up. This was the year previous to our meeting. 
His tutor. Dr. Porgos, spoke English, and intro- 
duced him to the Kev. Dr. Duncan, the Kev. Mr. 
Smith, and myself. We felt much interested in 
him. Dr. Porgos had to leave for Padua to get liis 


medical diploma, and thongli still a Jew in religion, 
brought his pupil to me and said, " Mr. AVingate, 
I give you charge of Alfred ; take care of him." 
I said, '' Porgos, how can you, a Jew, give your 
pupil to me ? You know I can only pray that he 
may be a true Christian." " Never mind ; I know 
no one who will so conscientiously care for him. 
1 am off for six months.'' 

Before the winter was over, Edersheim was under 
the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and had glorious 
views of the Divinity of Christ. Trusting in His 
one Sacrifice and filled with the peace of God, he 
gave himself up to l^e His servant in any way 
it might please God to direct him. The Jews 
were astonished. He opened a class to teach the 
students English, on the condition that the Bible 
should be their only lesson book. Baptized, and 
now full of life and vigour, it was resolved that 
he should o'o to Edinburcvh to the Eev. Pro- 
fessor Duncan's, to complete there his theological 

Edersheim after ordination was, first, missionary 
to the Jews at Jassy, Koumania, and then minister 
for many years at the Free College Church, Old 
Aberdeen. Severe illness brought him south, and 
Principal Chalmers and I advised Torquay, as one 
lung was already affected. At Torquay he went 
to a hotel — the best there ; but finding that it 
was beyond his resources, he sent for the landlord 
and asked for his bill. The landlord, an earnest 
Christian, told him to leave that to him. Mean-^ 


while his presence was talked about in Torquay, 
and a deputation waited on him to ask him to 
preach in a room of the hotel. People flocked to 
him, and in about eighteen months I was called 
to introduce him, in the beautiful Scotch Church 
of Torquay, built for him, where he was blessed 
to the salvation of many — specially of the upper 
classes. Some years later he was seized again with 
inflammation of the lungs, and had to resign his 
charo'e. MtQx a stav in the Riviera, he settled in 
Bournemouth. Here he held private meetings 
and gave himself to literary work. He then 
joined the Church of England, and became a vicar 
in Dorsetshire. Spiritual blessings followed him 
everywhere, and every year added to his published 
books. As a preacher, his eloquence and sincerity 
gained for him great respect ; and he was the only 
Hebrew Christian clergyman, so far as I know, who 
was invited by the late Dean Stanley to preach 
in Westminster Abbey, and by Dean Vaughan 
in the Temple Church. He was appointed " Select 
Preacher " in the University of Oxford. His large 
and increasing literary labours induced him to 
resign his country living, and he removed to 
Oxford, where he wrote his great work, The Life 
and Times of the Messiah. He died in 1889. 

In Principal Brown's well-known Memoirs of 
Dr. Dwican,^ Dr. Smith oives an account of the 

1 See Life of the late Jolin Duncan, LL.D., by David Brown, 
D.D., pp. 353-4. 


progress made by the mission, after Dr. Duncan 
had left Pesth :— 

The parting with him was painful, but the 
faithful Lord, who had stood by us in similar 
circumstances the year before, kept us from 
despondency ; nor was our confidence misplaced. 
The Word of God grew, and multiplied greatly, 
and the Lord added to the Church, if not daily, 
yet from time to time, such as should be saved. 
The blessino[ which rested on the mission was even 
less conspicuous in the number of converts than 
in the love, harmony, and mutual confidence which 
reio:ned amono; them. Strano;ers who visited us 
from many cjuarters felt, according to their own 
statement, as if, overleaping the lapse of centuries, 
they had suddenly stepped into the midst of the 
Apostolic Church. Mr. Saphir was associated with 
us in the work, and proved by his deep piety, 
his rare humility, and his great learning, a most 
efficient coadjutor. A school was established under 
the auspices of his singularly devoted son Philipp, 
of whose life a sketch is given in a later chapter, 
which, before the premature death of its founder, 
immbered more than a hundred children, to all of 
whom there was imparted a thoroughly Christian 
education, not only with the consent, but in many 
cases with the most cordial approval, of their 
Jewish parents. A superior class of colporteurs 
or evangelists were trained, and sent into all 
parts of Hungary, meeting, wherever they went, 
with eager inquiries, regarding the strange reports 


of conversions in Pestli, wliicli Lad penetrated 
into every corner of the country. The friendly 
alliance between us and the Protestant pastors 
of Pesth and Buda, which had been initiated in 
the time of Dr. Duncan, became more and more 
intimate. Weekly ministerial conferences were set 
on foot, which, besides being productive of direct 
spiritual benefit to these brethren, and to all of 
us, enabled the mission through them to exercise 
a powerful, and in some respects even a deter- 
minino' influence on the welfare of the Protestant 
Church, during the perilous times that followed. 

These troublous times beo-an with the !j;feat war 
of 1849, when the Hungarians, headed by Kossuth, 
soug^ht to establish their independence, and Eussia 
united with Austria, to fight against the Magyars. 
Of this period Dr. Smith gives a vivid jDicture : — 

The years 1848-49 brought great disaster and 
woe on Hunoary. The tide of battle rolled over 
the land once and again, from the extreme limit 
of Transylvania to the very gates of Vienna. 
Wave succeeded wave, sweeping many thousands 
of victims into eternity. The soil was drenched 
with l^lood, and the s\^'ord grew weary w^ith 
slaughter. The fortress of Buda was taken and 
retaken several times by the contending forces. 
Pesth was three times bombarded. One bomb- 
sliell passed right through my own house, and 
fell into the court behind. Another exploded in 
mv studv, and set fire to mv furniture and 


books. A state of iDdescribable confusion pre- 
vailed throughout the country, and, after the war 
was concluded, a reign of terror, by arrests and 
executions, began. 

The missionaries had to retire for a time, but 
when they returned they found the fields ripe unto 
harvest : — 

Having lost their earthly treasures, people had 
begun to long for something less perishable and 
uncertain. A thirst sprang up for the Word of 
God such as had never existed in Hungary before. 
Our work had been interrupted during the war, 
but now, towards the end of 1849, it was resumed 
with tenfold results. Our evangelists went forth 
again on their mission, and the eagerness of the 
peoj)le to possess copies of the Bible was such that 
for a time our su^^ply ran short, and we could not 
meet the demand. 

But while this blessed work was going on, the 
clouds begun to lower over our heads. The Aus- 
trian Government, after wavering for a time, now 
finally determined the course of its future policy. 
It was resolved to carry matters with a high hand, 
to bid defiance to public opinion, to suppress the 
last remains of public liberty, and, above all, to 
throw the whole education of the country into the 
hands of the Jesuits. . . . The principle of free 
inquiry asserted by Protestants made them pecu- 
liarly obnoxious to the Government. . . . The 
measures adopted against the Lutheran and Re- 
formed Churches became every day harsher and 


more tyrannical. . . . We had meanwhile been 
pursuing our usual course quietly and unosten- 
tatiously. We could not expect this state of 
things to last, and felt, but too truly, that the end 
was at hand. At length the thunder-cloud burst 
on our heads in the first week of January 1852. 
We were ordered to leave the country within ten 
days, and all efforts to prevent this being enforced 
proved vain. 

A thousand cords, which bound us to a land 
where we had seen so many marvels of God's 
grace, to its Church, to individuals, to brethren 
dearly and tenderly loved, were at once and 
violently snapped asunder. The desolation of 
heart I felt in that hour I cannot describe. There 
was an agony in it which I had never known 
before, an agony w^hich increased as we began to 
dismantle our happy home ; and its bare cheerless 
walls became a picture of our own hearts. That 
Sabbath was devoted to visiting our little flock in 
their own houses. The chapel was closed by order 
of the Government, so that we could not take 
leave of them in public. K spy was prowling 
about the door, to see if any one entered it. What 
a contrast to the days when with gladsome step 
we were wont to ascend into the house of God, to 
behold His beauty in His sanctuary I On a dreary 
winter morning, between four and five, we started 
on our journey. The last faces I saw were those of 
two Hungarian pastors, with a look on them which 
wont to my very heart. Thus ended our ten 


years' sojourn in the capital of Hungary. We had 
been brought thither by the hand of God ; we were 
driven thence by the malice of Satan. 

After the expulsion of the missionaries old Mr. 
Saphir continued to act, from 1852 to 1861, as 
agent of the mission of the Free Church to the Jew^s 
in Pesth, under the recognized official guidance of 
Superintendent Torok, who took the deepest interest 
in the work. In the school, Mr. Saphir had about 
six or eight teachers under him, and about 300 
to 400 children in attendance. He conducted a 
service in his own room on the Sundays. He 
died in 1864, at the age of eighty-four, peacefully 
and joyfully resting in Jesus, the Messiah, the 
Saviour, and the King of Israel. 

In 1861 Mr. Van Andel was appointed mission- 
ary, and in 1863 Mr. Konig. The obstacles were 
then removed. For the last twenty years the 
Eev. Andrew Moody, the nejjliew of Dr. Moody 
Stuart, has carried on the w^ork with great interest. 
Mr. Moody writes : — " The school founded by 
Philip Saphir forty-six years ago, and of which I 
have charge, has become, as you are aware, a 
very large institution. We enrolled last year 511 
pupils. The aged father, Israel Saphir, was still 
alive when I arrived in this city in 1864. I saw 
him before he died. When I asked him if he 
remembered Dr. Duncan, he said, laying his hand 
on his heart, ' I have him here ! ' A considerable 
number of Jews and Jewesses, old and young. 


have been baptized in connection with our mission 
during the last three years." 

Few missions, either Jewish or other, have had so 
remarkable a history or so widespread an influence 
as that of Pesth. It gave an impetus to Jewish 
missions, the effect of which will never pass away, 
and among its other manifold results, produced 
Adolph Saphir. 




Adolph in Edinburgh — Mrs. Duncan — Education in Berlin, 
1844 to 1848 — Attends the Gymnasium — Religious Diffi- 
culties — Letter to Mr. Wingate — Becomes acquainted 
with the Rev. Theodore Meyer — Happy Influence of this 
Friendship — Effect of his Difficulties on his future Doctrine 
and Teaching. 

ADOLPH spent half a year in 1843-44, together 
with Edersheim and Tomoiy, in the house of 
Dr. Duncan in Edinburgh, where he improved in 
health, and acquired a good knowledge of English. 
Here he enjoyed the truly motherly care of Mrs. 
Duncan, who had been an immense help to her 
husband in his work in Hungary. Mr. Tomory 
thus describes her : — Her sweet and powerful influ- 
ence was felt by all. She was devoted, kind, and 
affable ; well fitted for the important position and 
the great opportunities which the Head of the 
Church vouchsafed to them. Along with devoted- 
ness and piety she was possessed of singularly good 
sense and practical wisdom ; fitted in every way 
to be a mother in Israel. She did great service 
to the Church in taking care of the Doctor during 


his labours in Pestli ; and after he accepted the call 
to the Professorship in Edinburgh, she took her full 
share of the work and the responsibilities, and 
we felt her kindness towards us. She had a 
smile and a word of counsel for us all. She was 
beloved by all, and very popular. I will ever 
remember Vvdth thankfulness that the Lord gave 
me the precious opportunity of living under the 
roof of Dr. and Mrs. Duncan. What many a 
minister owes to a godly mother, the Lord granted 
me to enjoy as a stranger in a strange land, 
tlirouo;h the kindness and wisdom of that sinou- 
larly devoted mother in Israel. Edersheim, Adolph 
Saphir, and myself lived with them during the 
first session after the Disruption. What a heavy 
charge, to have three young inexperienced youths 
to deal with ! — but her kind and judicious ways 
made it all easy. She had an eye upon our 
comfort and upon our studies, Scotticizing us, 
and imbuing us with good principles. Her in- 
fluence over us was j)aramount. 

After his stay in Edinburgh Adolph went to 
Berlin, to the house of the Kev. Charles Schwartz, 
who had married his eldest sister. Mr. Schwartz 
had just arrived there from Constantinople as a 
Jewish missionary of the Free Church of Scotland, 
and it was considered best that Adolph should be 
with his relatives, as he was still only in his 
thirteenth year. In Berlin he could go on with 
liis education uninterruptedly, because German was 
to him his mother tongue, which he had spoken 


from infancy, and in which he had received his 
early education. He was to the last more eloquent 
and telling in German than even in English, and 
in conversation, whenever he was deeply interested, 
he loved best to speak in German. He speaks 
thus himself as to his education in Berlin: — "After 
six months at Edinburgh, where I stayed at the 
house of the learned and pious Orientalist and 
expositor, Dr. John Duncan, and acquired the 
English language, I was sent to my brother-in-law, 
the Kev. Charles (afterwards Dr.) Schwartz, who 
at that time was working in Berlin, as Jewish 
missionary of the Free Church of Scotland. In 
Berlin I attended a public school for three years 
and a half. Towards the end of this time I was 
removed into the upper fifth form, having obtained 
the highest number of marks. It was my wish 
to finish the prescribed course at Berlin, but my 
brother-in-law left for Amsterdam, and I was 
compelled to go to Scotland, where I had friends 
who took a kindly interest in me. I was then in 
my seventeenth year." 

In Berlin he attended the Gymnasium, from 
1844 to 1848. This portion of his life, from the 
age of thirteen to seventeen, was very important as 
a preparation for his future career. He acquired 
a thorough knowledge not only of German liter- 
ature, but also of German philosophy, as Hegel - 
ianism, which enabled him to understand easily, 
in after years, the source and weakness of much 
of the half-fiedo-ed Nationalism which has reached 


this country and afFeetecl so much various branches 
of theology. Much of his power in combating 
unbelief arose from the ordeal through which he 
passed in these Berlin years. He never lost his 
spiritual confidence and his Christian faith, but he 
passed through many sharp conflicts and dark and 
gloomy experiences. 

Before referring to this, we may quote from 
an affectionate letter, written to Mr. Wingate. It 
is dated near the end of his Berlin sojourn — 

"Having the opportunity of sending my hearty love to you, 
and my hearty thanks for your last kind letter, by my dear 
parents, I cannot avoid embracing it. I have great joy to 
see, by your kind note, that you have not yet forgotten me, 
and that you, who have instructed me in the doctrines of the 
blessed Gospel, and by whom it pleased God to bring salvation 
nigh unto me, remember me still before the Throne of Grace. 
Often do I think, with a joyful and grateful mind, on those 
sweet and precious hours in which you explained to me the 
way of salvation, in which you read with me the Gospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, told me of His love and mercy to poor 
sinners, and invited me to be reconciled with God, by faith in 
the crucified and risen Messiah. 

" I often think back on that blessed time, important for 
my whole life, when the Lord in His grace and mercy called 
us out of darkness into His wonderful light, brought us from 
death in trespasses and sins to a life in Him in whom there is 
all life and all light. And as you are my father in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and as by you God has converted me to His 
glad and free-making Gospel, I feel the desire to write and 
tell you all concerning me, as I cannot have the privilege of 
personal intercourse." The letter thus concludes — " I am 
getting on very well in my studies, and my wish and desire 
is that I may be one day able to do something in Christ's 
kingdom, and be of some use in bringing nigh salvation to 
the lost sheep of the House of Israel. May the Lord prepare 


me for His work, may He honour me to labour in His vine- 
yard, and to proclaim the glad tidings of Zion, 

' ' Your most grateful and affectionate, 

" Adolph Saphir. 

''Berlin, August 20, 1847. 
"Rev. W. Wingate, Pesth, Hungary." 

It was ill 1847 that he became acquainted with 
the Rev. Theodore Meyer,^ who to the end of his 
life was one of the most loved of his friends. 
Mr. Meyer, who had been a Jewish Eabbi in 
Mecklenburg at Schwerin Btitzow, but whose eyes 
had been opened to the trutli, came to Berlin, 
where lie was warmly received by Neander, Heng- 
stenberg, and other well-known theologians of the 
period, and where he acquired distinction as a 
scholar, in the ranks of men noted for their 
scliolarshi|). Dr. Hengstenberg introduced Meyer 
to Schwartz, and at Schwartz's house, Meyer met 
the young Adolph, then nearly sixteen years of age, 
and a pupil in the upper cLass of the Gymnasium. 
They were at once attracted to each other. Meyer 
was struck with the thoughtfulness, genius, and 
sincerity of Saphir, and young Saphir found in 
Meyer a friend to wliom he could freely unbosom 
himself. Soon Meyer became his Hebrew teacher, 
and was constantly with him, introducing him to 
circles which, being still so young and not a 
University student, he could not himself have 

This friendship was to Adolph of much im- 

^ Now Jewish missionary of the English Presbyterian 
Church in London. 


portance, for Meyer found him in a state of con- 
siderable anxiety and depression. He had not lost 
his faith, which had been so bright at the time 
of his conversion ; but it was clouded over by the 
influences around him. The whole atmosphere of 
the Gymnasium was rationalistic. Hegelianism, 
Pantheism, everything tending to unbelief in the 
Divine and supernatural, seemed to be in the 
very air breathed by the teachers and the abler 
pupils. Eeligion was generally at a low ebb 
in Berlin, and the Jewish families with whom 
he associated were intensely worldly and almost 
materialistic. For a youth of philosophic insight 
and ability, who could appreciate the attractions 
of the Hegelian philosophy, and of Pantheism 
generally, and could look at things from their 
standpoint, this was no ordinary trial. A less 
profound mind would have been less afiected. 
Divine grace within, and the experiences he had 
had of the intense reality of his relations with 
God in Christ, struggled against it, but the 
struggle was severe, and it is cjuite possible that 
it mio'ht have undermined his delicate constitution, 
if he had not met with a friend with whom he had 
thorough sympathy, to whom he could unbosom 
himself, who could understand him and enter with 
him into the philosophical speculations, and yet 
help to remove away the clouds that troubled him. 
He thus refers to this struggle in a letter, dealing 
with Broad-Churchism, written to a friend in 1877 : 
— " I passed for several years through many doubts 


and phases, and was exposed to very ' broad ' and 
even pantheistic influences, and I remember that I 
was often irritated by severe and impatient orthodox 
treatment. The reading of Scripture and of Pascal's 
Pensees, and the friendship of a few really godly 
Christians dispelled the mists. I have a great 
horror of the stveetesf, modified, and rationalized 
Christianity a Id Dean Stanley, &c., although 1 
know that excellent men have felt drawn into it. 
But I think that they have still the quintessence 
of the old views sustaining them." And again 
he writes to the same correspondent, " I suff'ered 
for years from the teaching of Schleiermacher's 
disciples when I was about seventeen." 

This experience of Saphir's in the depths — his 
thorough understanding of the Pantheistic philo- 
sophy — had, no doubt, in God's providence, a great 
influence on his future, enabling him to take a 
broad and philosophic view of things, and to resist 
the subtle influences of a system, which indirectly 
perplexes multitudes who do not understand the 
sources or the philosophy. One traces in the 
writings of Saphir that he sees far beneath the 
surface, that he comprehends clearly the connecting 
links, and that he maintains the Divine authority 
of Scripture throughout, not because he does not 
appreciate the questions raised, but because he 
understands them so thoroughly that he at once 
traces influences destructive of Christianity, as a 
Divine religion, where many theologians, less pro- 
found, become bewildered in minutiae. 




Memoir of Philipp written by Adolph when a Student in 
Edinburgh — Philipp's early Carelessness and Worldliness 
— Conversion and Baptism — Training at Carlsruhe — Deli- 
cacy — Intense Sufferings — Starting Young Men's Society 
— Opening of School for Jewish Children — Its Great 
Success — His Joyful Death — Elizabeth Saphir described by 
her Sister. 

FULLY to appreciate the blessed results of tiie 
conversion of the Saphir household, we must 
not overlook the devoted career of the elder brother 
Philipp, who is mentioned in the earlier chapters. 
His memoir, written by Adolph when a student 
in Edinburgh, is of remarkable interest. A Life 
so devoted and so nobly spent for the good of 
those around him, in the midst of great physical 
suffering and depression, we have seldom read. It 
is a beautiful life. We efive some of the leadino- 
features as brought out in his brother Adolph's 
narrative, which is of thrilling interest throughout, 
and shows how, when there is a burning zeal for 
Christ, all impossibilities vanish. 

Although he received a good education at home, 
the temptations of the world proved too strong 


for Philipp, and he led a careless and wild life. 
Yet he found no lasting happiness in worldly joys 
and sins, and at times a strong reaction would take 
place. Kesolutions of improvement were formed. 
Sometimes he turned to the strict observance of 
the Jewish laws and institutions, at other times 
he felt attracted by the grandeur of the Komish 
Church, and its outward show of devotion. 

On the one hand, the unmeaning, often hypo- 
critical, at best lifeless, formalism and orthodoxy 
of the strict Jews could produce no other effect 
than that of repelling him, and impressing him 
with the feeling that in these antiquated forms 
there was no spirit, and that these ceremonies were 
not the indices of a holy and devoted life ; while, 
on the other hand, the hollow infidelity, the un- 
defined morality, the witty scorn of all positive 
religion which characterized the young, talented, 
and gifted, while they attracted him, inspired no 
principle, strength, or object of life. Again, the 
Christian population was without light, and dead. 
Christianity had become a lifeless form. Christ 
was never shown to him. Gay life, amusements 
of every kind, less of an intellectual than a merely 
carnal and sensual nature, seemed to form the 
centre .of the life of those so-called Christians. 
But, with all the coldness and death which pre- 
vailed in the synagogue, the Old Testament was 
there read and tauoht, and its moralitv, however 
deficiently apprehended, was inculcated ; and, by 
afflictions sent on the whole population and his 


family in particular, God prepared his heart for 
the reception of the truth. 

When Philipp was fifteen years old a terrible in- 
undation took place at Pesth. The water in places 
reached the heio^ht of ten feet, and stood on a level 
with the window^ of the second storey. Many 
buildings fell, and there was great loss of life. He 
was especially active, and saved many lives and 
much property. This event made a deep impres- 
sion, and prepared the way for more solemn 

In 1842, about a year after the establishment 
of the mission, the Rev. C. Schwartz visited Pesth 
on his way to Constantinople, and was detained 
there for some weeks. He addressed many Jews 
in German, and produced a great impression, 
among others, on Philipp Saphir, then nineteen 
years of age. The light broke in upon him. He 
wrote to Mr. Schwartz, after his departure: — ''I 
thank God daily for having sent you to us, and 
for having inclined my heart to receive the message 
you brought, and to enter in at the straight gate 
which leads to God. ... I feel the strength and 
joy of the Holy Spirit ; so do also my sister and 
brother." He longed also for others. " One thought 
gives me much pain and distress. What will 
become of your parents, your relatives, your 
people ? Mr. Smith and Mr. Wingate seek most 
earnestly to lead me to salvation. I cannot pray 
enough for them.'^ 

All associated with him remarked that he was 


altogether a changed being. He sought the 
direction of God in all he undertook, and the Word 
of God was his delight. But nothing was more 
manifest than the consciousness of sin and weak- 
ness, and the remembrance of sins which, although 
he believed them to be forgiven of God, could not 
yet be forgotten by himself. This consciousness 
gave him that modesty and humility which so 
characterized him. 

On Tuesday, April 4, 1843, he was baptized 
in the Calvinistic church of Pesth, by the super- 
intendent, the Eev. Paul Torok. He wrote two 
days after to Mr. Schwartz : — Tuesday was the 
most important day in my life. I was admitted 
into the Church of Christ. I cannot describe my 
feelings to you. Ah ! the infinite love of God ! 
He has given me much peace. Nothing will de- 
prive me of it. I am happy, joyful ; my soul is 
with God. I praise Christ every hour. I regard 
my life only as one single point, and have death 
continually in view ; therefore I lay myself into 
Christ's arms every evening, so that, if it should 
be my last sleep, I may fall asleep in the Lord. 
This is now my joy ; but the week before my 
baptism I thought upon almost nothing else but 
my sins. I looked back upon my past life. I 
was quite overpowered by the thought of Christ's 
redeeming love, and I wept and repented, and God 
has wiped away my tears, and I have heard His 
voice, "Be of good cheer, My son, thy sins are 
forgiven thee." 


On the Sunday following he received for the 
first time the Lord's Supper. A few days after 
he left Pesth for Carlsruhe, to be trained as a 
teacher, having an ardent desire to be useful in 
spreading the truth among his countrymen. He 
began his studies in the Carlsruhe Seminary for 
teachers, with great diligence and earnestness. He 
worked from five in the morning till nine at night 
with scarcely any interruption, and thus under- 
mined his constitution. He met with many pious 
friends, with whom he had refreshing intercourse, 
and continued to grow in the grace and the know- 
ledge of Jesus Christ. At this time he wrote to a 
near relative who was then very sad and depressed, 
''Let cares become prayers. Luther says, a man 
who does not cast his care upon Christ is a dead 
and rejected man. Therefore, as a good soldier 
of Christ, bear those afflictions patiently, and 
overcome them." In his papers of that summer 
he often renewed the covenant he made with God 
in baptism. Before the end of the year he became 
ill through over-study. The submissiveness of his 
spirit and Christian joy in his illness are remarkably 
shown in these words, quoted from a letter written 
to his parents in Dec. 1843: — "It is my duty to 
inform you of what the Lord in His great love has 
done to me. I will tell you, with a humble heart, 
that confesses itself guilty and deserving of 
chastisement, the afflictions which our wise and 
gracious God has sent me, — and my lips will be 
opened to praise Him. It would be my greatest 


comfort to know, that like chiklren of God, to 
whom all things work together for good, you will 
regard this also as a proof of the love of Jesus, 
and will be able, without murmuring and 
questioning, to submit cheerfully to God, who 
loves us so much." " Shall I be able," he says 
at the close, " to complete my studies ? Ah ! my 
joy in the prospect of being a teacher was perhaps 
too great." 

His journal in 1844 is full of deep humility 
and earnest devotedness of heart to God ; self- 
examination the more searching because the light 
was burning so brightly within — the light of the 
Spirit. In December of that year he again 
became ill, and from this time he lived, with but 
little interruption, a life of sickness and pain. 

In his diary we find a prayer, of which the 
following is a portion : — " I thank Thee from the 
bottom of my heart for this punishment, and but 
one thing now I request of Thee — that Thy holy 
and good Spirit may effect in me Thy purpose ; 
that Thy disciple may recover in body and mind ; 
that this sickness may be unto life eternal. . . 
Lord Jesus, I hear Thy Amen. If I die, I will see 
and praise Thee. If I recover, the rest of my life 
will flow a stream of gratitude, spent in Thy 
service to the honour of Thy name." 

He wrote at the same time to the Rev. C. 
Schwartz : — " Now I learn how God loves me. I 
can only thank God for this illness. I am very 
ill, weak, and thin. I think I will go home to ni)' 


Lord and Saviour. I look forward to my end 
with joy." 

He had to return to Pesth in 1845. His ilhiess 
increased. But his confidence in God never 
wavered. His energetic nature could not endure 
idleness and inactivity. A union of believers, 
especially of such as were in the strength and 
vio-our of youth, for their mutual advancement in 
Christ, and for the sowing of the seed of Christ 
in every possible way, suggested itself as the best 
work he could do. He called round him a meeting 
of Christian young men, who entered heartily into 
his idea, and a Young Men's Society was constituted, 
on the following basis. 1. It was to be called The 
Society of Young Men. 2. Its object was to 
propagate the Kingdom of God, especially among 
young men, also to assist brethren in distress, 
and inquirers after truth. 3. The means to be 
employed were to be reading of the Word of God, 
prayers, and contributions. 4. The Society was 
to meet three times a week for reading and 
prayer. 5. Only true, earnest-hearted Christians 
were to be invited to join as members ; but they 
were to try to bring in young men to the meetings. 
6. There was to be a weekly collection on Saturdays; 
and 7. there were to be annual reports, with 
accounts of the finances. 

This Society, so well and wisely organized, proved 
a great blessing, and gave Philipp much joy, cheer- 
ing him in his suffering, and making him glad in 
doing work for Christ. 


His views of Christian truth were exceedingly 
clear, like those of his brother Adolph. He 
writes : — 

'■ I do not merely say I try to be a Christian, but 
I say I know it, and the Lord knows it. I am a 
Christian. . . . God makes us His children by His 
grace through the merit of Christ. Every Christian 
has this adoption — I, as much as Moses, Paul, 
Peter. It is God's gift. But the full appropriation 
of God's gift, the sanctification of the soul, is 
different in different individuals, and complete only 
in heaven. . . . When the work of sanctification is 
most ' prosperous, they will seek the oftener to see 
God's grace in Christ the crucified. . . . Yes, a 
child of God is and remains a child of God, in good 
days and evil days, in bright days and dark days, 
under lively and under dull feelings, in the storm 
and stress of temptation, yea, even in his fall. 
Winds, waves, mists, will not rob him of this faith. 
I am a child of God." 

When lying on his bed of weakness, Philipp 
thought whether he could not promote in some 
further way the glory and the Kingdom of Christ. 
" How happy would I be," he says in his diary, 
•' if Christ intended to do anything through me, a 
poor, weak man ! 0, my God, make me a blessing 
on this bed of sufi'ering and illness ! " 

" When I considered," he writes, " that my 
illness would probably be very long, I thought — 
Could you not do something during the time of 
trial for Him who did so much for you ? So 


1 thought of children, and teaching them, and 
I began with one boy at my bedside. In a few 
days I had five, seven, ten ; to-day, I have thirty 
children, about ten girls and the rest boys — a school, 
you see. I have taught them now for a month ; 
and as Dr. Keith and Mr. Grant, from Scotland, 
passed through, they examined the children, to the 
great satisfaction of our friends." 

He wrote thus to Dr. Duncan : — '' In fourteen 
or fifteen days I had twenty-three children sitting 
before my bed — fourteen Jewish and nine Christian. 
I can scarcely describe my feelings as I commenced 
instruction. It was soon evident that the Bible 
lessons made an impression on the children. The 
boys and girls learned with such love and zeal, that 
I was able to hold an examination. . . I must 
inform you that I never asked any of the parents 
to entrust their children to my care. Had I 
possessed the wish to do so, my lameness and 
crutches would have prevented me. The parents, 
as soon as they heard from others that I meant to 
give instruction to poor children gratis, sent their 
children to me. As my school increased, I was 
oblio-ed to chano-e mv lodoino- for one more 
commodious. I was anxious to provide myself 
with the means necessary for carrying it on. 
These, with the exception of some books from 
Germany, which I eagerly w^ait for, were speedily 
procured, and I was enabled to open the school 
with fifty-two children. There were eight Pro- 
testants, twenty-one Jewish bo3^s, and twenty- 


three Jewish girls. I made a point of speaking 
personally with the parents, in order to ascertain 
whether the children had their approval, when they 
came to me. I immediately drew their attention 
to the fact that I was no longer a Jew, but a 
Christian who believed in Jesus as the Messiah 
that was already come, and that therefore my 
school was a Christian school. 'I teach,' said T, 
' the Evangelical doctrine as I find it revealed in 
the Word of God, and I teach the same whether 
my pupils be Jews or Christians. My chief object 
is to lead the children to reverence and love God ; 
if you do not object to the doctrines of Christianity, 
I joyfully receive your children.' I was obliged 
to speak in this manner, as I easily foresaw that if 
I did not take this precaution I would be accused, 
in the event of my encountering opposition from 
the hostility of the Jews." 

Thus nobly and honestly, on his sick-bed, did 
he carry on his work. Jewish opposition was 
aroused, and the numbers fell in one day from 
fifty-three to twenty-two ; but the children soon 
began to come back. Of this time he says — " A 
boy, when he heard he could not be sent to the 
school again, began to weep bitterly." *' I have 
a little Jewish girl in the school, who will not be 
called anything but a Christian. When a Jew 
told her the other day that Jesus was not God, 
she began to cry, and accused the unbeliever to 
her mother." His liberality of view is illustrated 
in the followino- : — '' A mother came with her 


daughter, and told me that the Rabbi had preached 
against me, and forbidden the parents to send their 
children. ' Is not this very bad ? ' ' No,' said I, 
' he acts conscientiously as his conviction commands 
him. He is a Jew, I am a Christian ; he does 
not wish to see Jewish children attracted by 
Christianity.' ' Never mind,' replied she ; ' be so 
good as to receive my children into your school' " 
"The Jewish children give me more satisfaction 
than the others. They put so many questions, 
almost always sensible ones, and sometimes with 
such deep meaning that I am quite astonished. 
Many of the little ones rejoice in Christ. At 
home the children read the Bible and pray." A 
service was instituted for Jewish children on the 
Lord's Day, and many attended and listened 

"It is impossible," says Adolph in the Memoir, 
"to describe the delight and happiness which he 
felt in teaching these poor children. Philipp was 
naturally very lively and playful, not only fond 
of children, but able and willing to descend to 
their standpoint and become a child to them. 
His hearty interest in them, his sympathy with 
them, and his youthful vivacity and cheerfulness 
gained him the aflection and love of his pupils." 

The following characteristics remind us of Adolph 
himself : — " What he knew, and wished to com- 
municate, he stated plainly, concisely, and directly. 
He was gifted, moreover, with a lively imagination, 
and apprehended facts not merely abstractly with 


his reason, but with the iniiid's eye, picturing them 
to himself distinctly and vividly." He adds : — 
" The chief excellency of his teaching consisted in 
his believing and acting upon the principle that to 
educate children is to train their hearts to know 
and love God, and that this object is not only to 
be kept in view in the specific religious instruction, 
but to be remembered in every lesson that is 

In the meantime the Young Men's Society which 
Philipp had instituted continued to prosper. 
Twenty pounds were raised in the first year, in 
connection with it, chiefly to assist those in need ; 
and the meetings on Sundays and Thursdays to 
study the Bible were most refreshing. 

In June 1847 he had to leave Pesth for a time 
to take the baths at Posteng in the north of 
Hungary. He was away a month, and all the 
time he was active in missionary work, especi- 
ally among the Jews. At Pressburg, where he 
had formerly resided, he spoke to many of the 
Jews he had known before. " On one occasion," he 
writes, '' a crowd gathered, and one woman ])egan 
to speak to me. I saw in her face bitter iiatred 
and aiiger. I am thankful I was able to speak 
with her in meekness and love. She calied me 
hypocrite and apostate, and began to describe 
my death-bed hours, which, she said, would ho, 
terrible, on account of the remorse I would then 
feel for having denied my faith. I waited till she 
had finished this violent oration, and then told her 


a few things about the love of Jesus, and asked her 
to think them over. I went away full of comfort, 
remembering the words of Christ, ' Blessed are ye 
when men shall revile you for My sake.' " 

There is a quiet humour in the following : — " T 
was speaking to another Jewess on the coming of 
the Messiah, as promised by God to our fathers. 
She thought it a sufficient answer that, as a woman 
she knew nothing, could not know anything, ought 
not to know anything, was not intended by God 
to know anything. But although she professed so 
frankl}^ her entire ignorance, she showed herself 
exceedingly learned and skilful in reviling and 
scoldino' me. Yet I made her listen to the truth." 


Of the crass ignorance of the people an example is 
given : — ^^ ther woman, to whom I had given 
a Bible, asked me whether I was the author of the 
Book ; a Jewess ! — one of that nation to whom 
pertain the glory and the covenants, and the giving 
of the Law." 

He thus yearns over his people : — " Oh, Israel, 
how is thine eye covered with a veil ; and thy 
heart also ! Kend thy heart, and not thy gar- 
ments ; turn to Him who alone can say a powerful 
Ephphatlia to thy closed eye and heart." And then, 
remembering his own past : — " Ah, I feel such an 
ardent desire to testify of the truth in this city, 
where I led such a orodless life." He gives manv 
examples of the ignorance of the Jews, and of their 
materialism. To them he seemed a strange phe- 
nomenon ; l~)ecnuso of the Christians so called, none 


spoke as he did. They were still great in cere- 
monies, but had nothing else. " To-day is Sabbath. 
Wherein consists the sanctification of this day 
among the Jews ? It consists in three j)oii^ts — 
They wear a three-cornered hat, a blue frock-coat, 
and velvet pantaloons. The Jews are the same 
during the week as to-day ; only their dress is 
symbolical of a difference between the days." 

It was his delight to do good, and to speak 
about Christ ; it was no trouble to him ; it came 
spontaneously. Wherever he was, he sought 
anxiously to find an opportunity of telling those 
around him what was to him the life and treasure 
of his soul. 

He returned to Pesth in July, none the better, 
but rather the worse, for the baths. He was then 
subjected to terrible tortures by a surgeon probing 
the wounds in his legs. Agonizing pain continued 
afterwards, but he bore it patiently. " I suffer," he 
says, ^' intense pain, but I have resolved not to say 
much about it. Let me suffer in silence and solitude 
till it pleases God to send me deliverance." Again : — 
" My wounds are burned every day with caustic 
stone, and they heed not my cries. I wish I 
could bear the pain more patiently in those terrible 
moments. God has driven me into deep straits, 
but, thanks to Him, He is educating; me for heaven. 
His ways are dark. So long as we are down here 
in this valley, it is impossible to have a clear view 
of God's plans or ways ; but from the summit of 
the mountain we shall be able to see it all, and 


to see how, in every step and turn which CtocI 
caused us to make, there was Avisdom, blessing, 
and love." 

He recovered a little, and at last, in October, he 
got back to his school, which was in a bad state, 
but soon rallied under his care. He thus speaks of 
his pupils — "I spoke with them, one by one, read 
with them God's Word, and prayed with them, 
and every word of warning I gave them applied, 
I felt, as much to myself as to them. So we con- 
fessed our sins together, teacher and pupils, and 
sought God's help. One of the children, a boy 
of eight, died after a few days' illness, giving all 
evidence of his faith in Christ. A little brother, 
a year younger, speedily followed, with like faith. 
This produced a great effect among the children 
— Jewish children — who began to carry the light 
to their homes." 

The care and solicitude, says his brother, with 
which w^e vratched the progress and development 
of the children, who, in such a wonderful way, 
were committed to his trainins; ; the attention 
and dilio^ence which he bestowed on their educa- 
tion ; the joy which he felt on seeing a new Divine 
life springing up in the hearts of many of them, 
and the anxiety with which he endeavoured to 
cherish and foster the tender plant, made him 
foro;et in some measure the pain he then suffered, 
and helped him to bear the heavy affliction with 
which God had visited him. The only bright 
gleam of light, in those dark days of suffering, was 


to see the love of Christ attracting and saving the 
children, in whom he felt such a heart interest. 

But his sufferings were soon to increase, and 
the ensuing winter brought him days of severer 
pain, of deeper agony, both in body and soul, than 
he ever had before. In the end of January 1848, 
these increased sufferings began, and the physiciau, 
in probing the wound again, gave the fatal news 
that the bone was affected, and that the complaint 
was incurable. The return of the spring had a 
favourable influence, and although the local pain 
had not decreased, yet with great exertion he 
recommenced his school, and to his intense delio^ht 
had about 120 children. In the view that the 
latter part of his life was to be spent in quiet 
and blessed labour among the children, he felt 
comfort, gladness, and cheerfulness. 

But suddenly, in that year of turmoil and social 
earthquakes, there broke out the calamitous 
Hungarian war. In May of the next year, 1849, 
Pesth w^as bombarded. Many had to flee. One 
of the children in his bed was killed by a bomb. 
Philipp became weaker and weaker, but his faith 
filled him Avith joy. He wrote to his brother : — 
"Dear good Brother, — Only a few words. God 
has laid me on a bed of sickness, from which I 
will not rise again. So rejoice to know that I will 
be redeemed, freed from pain, saved — saved from 
care ! I will be with Christ. What joy and delight ! 
I am ready to depart ; I rejoice in God. Pray for 
me. My whole body is ruined. In heaven there will 


be no pain. I praise the Lamb slain for us. So, 
farewell." And to his brother-in-law Mr. Schwartz, 
he wrote jubilantly: — "I am happy. God has 
done great things for me. My body is decaying, 
but my inner man lives and grows. I am weak 
and miserable, scorched with the heat of affliction, 
but within I am strong in my God, and rich in 
Him who became poor for me. Heat takes awav 
the dross, and prepares a transcendent joy. 1 wait 
patiently, and keep quiet under His hand. I do 
not dread to die ; the death Conqueror has taken 
away the sting of death. I long to be freed from 
the body of sin ; I long after the house not made 
with hands, eternal in the heavens." These letters 
were written in July. His sufferings increased till 
it pleased God to call him to Himself on September 
27, 1849. 

His father wrote Adolph after his death an 
account of his last illness, when he was racked 
with pain but was calm and quiet and patient. 
During his illness he spoke with the Jews who 
visited him, about the Kingdom of God. On the 
night previous to his death he was quite sleepless, 
and as he noticed his sister Elizabeth crying he 
called, embraced, and kissed her. " Why do you 
weep ?" he said. " Look at me. I am a great deal 
better now. The Lord Jesus, our Saviour, is 
gracious, and of great mercy. Be of good cheer ; 
trust in Him. Should we at any time have offended 
each other, we shall be reconciled now and for ever." 
He died, while his father knelt bv his side witli 


two friends and engaged in prayer. The old man 
adds, " Our Pbilipp, my dearly beloved son and 
your faithful brother, is in heaven. We shall see 
him again." 

A great number of people, many of them Jews, 
attended the funeral. Fifty of the school-children 
were present, and their tears were an eloquent 
expression of their love and sincere sorrow. 

He died at the age of twenty-six, and after his 
death his loved school continued to increase and to 

This life of Philipp Saphir reads like a tale of 
the apostolic age. There was not only the patience 
in suffering, but the most ardent .zeal and loving 
spirit wdiich led him in his weakness and prostration 
to labour with such tenderness for children and 
for young men, and to accomplish more in a few 
years on his bed of suffering than most Christians 
accomplish in a life-time. AVe know of no nobler 
example of the influence of the Spirit of God, than 
in the struggling years of pain of this true son 
of Abraham, melted and quickened by the love of 

Before we leave the story of the Saphir family, 
we must also notice a sister Elizabeth, who was 
a most devoted Christian, of whom another sister 
writes : — 

Elizabeth, was not only remarkable for her 
manifold gifts, but also for her refined mind and 
her humble, loving disposition. She was naturally 


devout, and very religious in the observance of 
Jewish rites and ceremonies, and a visit to one of 
her uncles, an orthodox Jew, during which she 
scrupulously endeavoured to observe every tittle 
of the rabbinical law, served to bring out still 
more strongly this feature of her character. This 
uncle was very devoted to her, and having no 
daughter wished to adopt her, but to this her 
father would not consent, although he allowed 
her to prolong her visit. During her absence the 
event occurred which brought about such great 
changes in the Saphir family. 

Elizabeth received an urgent summons from 
her anxious father to come home, as he wished 
to remove her without delay from her uncle's 
influence. Though sorry to leave her uncle, she 
w^as very glad to rejoin her family, and the 
first few days of her return slipped away very 
happily. Coming as she did from an emphatically 
Jewish house, she could not fail to notice the 
great changes that had taken place in her home, 
and desired to know the cause, whereupon her 
father told her that they had found Jesus of 
Nazareth, and that He was none other than the 
promised Messiah — the Christ of God — the Lamb 
that takes away the sin of the world. She was 
grieved, in fact stunned, on hearing this. The 
thought of " apostasy " on the part of those she 
loved was terrible to her, and she emphatically 
declared her intention to have nothing to do 
with it. 


Her father, being a very judicious man, thought 
it best not to press her, but only asked her to read 
the New Testament carefully, trusting in God's 
power to open her eyes and touch her heart. He 
also requested the other members of the family 
not to interfere with her. Thus she was left for a 
time cjuite to herself. How great was her father's 
joy and delight when she intimated to him that 
she had found the New Testament Scriptures to 
be the very Word of God, and looked to Christ as 
her Saviour ! Though she was not yet fourteen years 
old, no one who knew her could have the slightest 
doubt as to the sincerity of her desire to yield 
herself up to the Saviour, and to w^alk in His light. 
Her shy, retiring disposition led her to take great 
delight in solitary meditation and Bible study. 
Many long hours were thus spent alone with God. 
Soon there arose in her a steadfast desire openly 
to confess Him whom her soul loved. She had 
a full conception of the supreme importance of 
such a step, and of the responsibility of those who 
bear the Eedeemer's name. 

The writer of these lines remembers the saintly 
expression of her countenance, and her concen- 
trated attention during the baptismal service. It 
was a day never to be forgotten ! All present could 
only say, " This is the Lord's doing, and it is 
marvellous in our eyes." Soon after, she and her 
younger sister w^ere sent to a large boarding-school 
at Kornthal, in the south of Germany. This place 
was renowned for its high Christian trainiug, as also 


for its o'ood teaching; in all modern branches of 
knowledge. Elizabeth applied herself zealously 
to her studies, and did her best to satisfy all her 
teachers ; and in this she fully succeeded. Her 
gentle, loving manner attracted all with whom she 
came in contact, and soon she became a great 
favourite with both teachers and scholars. She was 
admired, not merely for her many good qualities, 
but chiefly for her loving, sympathizing character, 
which deepened and developed day by day. Her 
ardent desire was to exercise a good influence over 
those who were her fellow-students, and the first 
thino- she endeavoured to brino; about was a weeklv 
prayer-meeting. She met with many difficulties 
which threatened to frustrate her wishes. How- 
ever, her perseverance gained the victory ; some 
of her young friends came forward, wishing to 
take part in the meeting. 

For this purpose they could not find any place 
but a very small garret at the top of the house. 
There they met, and Elizabeth conducted these 
meetings. She was the means of bringing young 
souls to Christ. This small prayer-meeting did not 
always pass off very smoothly. Those who joined 
it were often scorned, laughed at, and called 
" Pietisten," but the " mad" Elizabeth was only the 
more zealous and persevering. The pastor of the 
place, a most devoted Christian, had much inter- 
course with her, and was her teacher in Hebrew. 

A missionary, who was at the time staying there, 
took a orreat likino; to her, and asked her to make 


his house her home. He also taught her English. 
After a stay of two years, the sisters had to leave 
for Pesth, and a general regret was expressed at 
Elizabeth's departure ; but a lively correspondence 
which she kept up with her teachers and young- 
friends served, to unite them still more. She 
evinced great concern and anxiety not to lose their 
love, and pointed them especially again and again 
to the truth as it is in Jesus. Thus she was not 
forgotten. The sisters were joined on their way 
home by their brother Philipp, who was staying 
at the same time at Carlsruhe in a seminary. 

After a time of rest Elizabeth resumed all her 
studies, and tried her best to make herself useful, 
in and out of the house. She had much blessed 
intercourse with her beloved teacher, Mrs. Smith, 
to whom she was most devoted, and to whom she 
looked up with no common regard. 

When Philipp started the idea of opening a 
school for Jewish children, she took it up at once, 
and looked forward impatiently to its commence- 
ment. When at last the great work was achieved, 
and children came crowding in, her happiness knew 
no bounds, and she threw herself at once with all 
her strength and energy into the work assigned 
to her. She and Philipp were the" pillars of this 
remarkable school, which became such a success 
and blessing, and which excited no small stir in the 
place. Elizabeth had a large class of girls, which 
she managed in a masterly way, to the astonishment 
of all her friends. Both the pupils and their 


parents were soon devoted to her, and greatly 
admired both her teaching and her dealings with 
the children. She visited the parents weekly, 
among whom she had free scope to speak of her 
personal experiences. Many were deeply impressed 
by her testimony, and could not fail to notice her 
anxiety as to their souls' salvation. 

At the annual examination her results with 
her pupils were simply amazing. Superintendent 
Torok, who presided on these occasions, could not 
express often enough his thorough satisfaction and 
admiration at her handling of the subjects, which 
she taught with so much clearness and understand- 
ing. She was however little accessible to praise, 
and w^as often unaware of the influence she exer- 
cised on those around her. Her mind and thoughts 
w^ere concentrated on one point — to her the most 
important in her life — namely, to love and serve 
her Master, and to help to minister to her fellow- 
creatures as much as she could. She was known 
among Jews and Gentiles. All loved and honoured 
her. Philipp's death was a great sorrow to her. 
She missed him intensely ; at the same time, she 
tried to do her very best to endear his memory to 
the pupils he had left, to whom he was deeply 

After his death, Elizabeth was more than ever 
devoted to her work, and the school was in a 
most flourishing condition. Subsequently she be- 
came engaged to a man who professed to be a 
Christian, and expressed a great interest in the 


mission scliool. Unfortunately tliis marri age turned 
out to be a very unhappy one. Poor Elizabeth 
suffered intensely from her husband's ill-treatment. 
Her parents, though not aware of this, could not 
fail to notice her sad look and deep depression. 
On being asked for the reason of this change, she 
was most reluctant to give a satisfactory answer, 
only mentioning that her husband did not quite 
understand her, but she hoped he might improve. 

In the meantime things seemed to get w^orse, 
and her father, who was deeply devoted to her, 
took her home, in order to protect her from further 
bad treatment. Her health had by this time 
suffered severely, and soon she became very ill — 
past recovery. All was done to make her last days 
happy and bright. Day and night her father 
nursed her ; — but, alas ! she passed away in her 
twenty-seventh year, in 1854, chiefly from a broken 

Elizabeth's Bible knowledge was remarkable. 
Her jDrayers were singularly beautiful and expres- 
sive. Her death caused oreat sensation amouQ- Jews 
and Gentiles. It was most touching to notice her 
pupils' sorrow and disconsolateness. All came to 
take the last farewell of her. One of her friends. 
Countess Brunswick, begged to be allowed to see 
her. She was struck with Elizabeth's happy ex- 
pression ; she put a New Testament in her hands, 
and remained for a time in silent prayer with her. 

When the writer of these lines was the last time 
at Buda-pest, in 1884, she met some of Elizabeth's old 


friends, who informed her that Elizabeth had never 
been forgotten, but was still living in their memory, 
— loved and honoured. A lady, rather indif- 
ferent towards Christianity, but a great admirer of 
Elizabeth, said she considered Elizabeth was a Saint, 
and every year, on "All Saints' Day," she laid a 
wreath on her grave. Her life was hidden in 
Christ. Her end was peace ! 

Adolph thus refers to the death of this sister : — 
My good sister Elizabeth died about a fortnight 
ago. We know she died in faith, love, and hope. 
The grief and bereavement is on our side only. 
She was very noble, and knew how to deny herself 
for the sake of God's Kingdom. She felt as much 
as a man that her life ought to be of use to the 
Church. Next to Philipp I always admired her 
most. We are all going home — sooner or later; 
but may God grant us a long life, if it please 
Him ! 




Adolph's Stay in Glasgow — Session 1848-49 — Tutor with 
Mr. AVilliam Brown, in Aberdeen — Acquaintance with 
AVilHam Fleming Stevenson — Mutual Benefit — Great In- 
fluence of this Fi-iend>hip on his Life — Visits the Steven- 
sons in Strabane — A Second Home — His Description of 

WE left Aclolph Saphir in Berlii], where lie 
remained during a good part of the time 
recorded in his brother's history. He was there 
resident with his brother-in-law and sister, the 
Eev. C. Schwartz and his wife. At this time his 
spirit was a good deal agitated by the Hegelian and 
other influences encountered among the teachers 
and pupils of the Gymnasium. He had a mind 
well fitted to ap[)reciate the attractiveness of the 
Hegelian and general Pantheistic philosophy. I'he 
great German poet, Goethe, had with all the power 
of his genius interwoven that philosophy into his 
poetry, and presented it thus in the most attractive 
garb. Many other German writers were also Panthe- 
istic. This Pantheism has now degenerated largely 
into Materialism, which was then beirinnino; to take 


its place and has since been fully developed. Strauss 
had written his Leben Jesu, and the treatment of 
the New Testament as an ordinary book, and of the 
life of Jesus as that of a great but eccentric genius, 
was very prevalent. Saphir had much literary 
power, as is manifest in all his writings. He could 
appreciate the beautiful in literature of every kind ; 
and with the great German classics, with Goethe at 
their head, he was perfectly familiar. The atmo- 
sphere of Berlin was intellectually high, but de- 
cidedly un-Christian. Had he encountered it, with- 
out that baptism of the Spirit, in his youthful days, 
he would have been attracted and carried away, and 
have probably made for himself, as his uncle had 
done, a distinguished position in German literature, 
but would have been lost to the Christian Church. 
But he had been truly converted, and therefore, 
though influenced and attracted, he fought by 
God's grace against and overcame the influence, and 
was thus prepared, understanding the intellectual 
position and attractions of rationalism, to become 
a powerful witness for the truth in after days. 

In 1848 he left Berlin, and was at once trans- 
ferred to the evangelical atmosphere of Scotland. 
Mr. Kobert Wodrow, of Glasgow, had, as we have 
mentioned, advocated for many years a mission 
to the Jews, and prayed to God that it might be 

After her husband's death, Mrs. Wodrow con* 
tinned to take the deepest interest in Jewish work. 
Hungary was in the midst of war, so that there 


was every reason for Adolpli Saphir not returning, 
thither. Besides, he had been given to the Scottish 
mission and designed for its work. The histories 
of the father and of Adolph himself in his boyhood 
were then familiar to numbers of Scottish readers, 
through the pages of The Home and Foreign 
Missionary Record of the Free Church. The 
Pesth mission had made a very deep impression 
in Scotland, and Mrs. Wodrow welcomed him to 
her home as an inmate, when Adolph began to 
carry on his studies for the ministry in Glasgow 

On his arrival in Glasgow in the autumn of 
1848, he was received with great kindness and 
regarded with much interest by many, but the 
sudden change to such different surroundings was 
very trying to one, of such a retiring and highly 
sensitive nature. 

In the following year he went to Aberdeen, 
where he became tutor in the family of Mr. 
William Brown, brother of the Eev. Dr. Charles 
Brown of Edinl)urgli and of Principal Brown of 
Aberdeen. His old friend, the Eev. Theodore 
Meyer, and another well-known Jewish minister. 
Professor Sachs, were at the time in Aberdeen, 
and received him vrarmly, and in Mr. Brown's 
family he was very happy. 

He gives himself the following account of his 
college career : — " After having passed an examin- 
ation, I Was received into the second class of under- 
graduates at the University of Glasgow. At this 


University, and also at Marischal College, Aberdeen, 
which I attended afterwards, I took all the pre- 
scribed subjects in preparation for the study of 
theology, viz. Latin and Greek Literature, Logic, 
Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, and in addition 
Chemistry. After having obtained good certificates 
and taken the first prize for Greek in Aberdeen, 
I became a student of theology in the Free Church 
College, Edinburgh. About the same time I took 
the degree of B.A. at Glasgow, having completed 
my triennium." 

In Glasgow he first became acquainted with one 
whose fame is in all the Churches, and who was 
for long years his most devoted friend — the Eev. 
^Yilliam Fleming Stevenson, the author of Praying 
and Working. This friendship was of the greatest 
value to him. Mr. Stevenson was, even as a 
student, a man of remarkable culture, of great 
literary attainments, of an ardent Christian spirit, 
and with large knowledge of missions. He had 
followed the history of the Pesth mission, and knew 
well both about the Saphirs and about Adolph 
himself. He sought him out in Glasgow, and they 
were at once attracted to each other, and became 
devoted friends. Such a friendship as this, of 
greatest importance to both, was invaluable to 
Adolph, at this time a stranger in a strange land. 
He felt it to be a special guidance of God that had 
brought them together. They had literary and 
philosophical as well as spiritual affinities, and 
during; their theological studies in Edinburgh they 


lodged together. Stevenson made Sapbir familiar 
with English literature, of which he had wide 
knowledge, wliile Saphir brought him into contact 
wdtli the literature and philosophy of Germany. 
Above all, they walked to the house of God in 
company, and strengthened each other in faith and 
devotion to Christ. 

But Fleming Stevenson was not only a friend, 
he treated Saphir as a brother, giving him a home 
where he would otherwise have been alone in the 
world. Saphir went over to Strabane on a long 
visit to the Stevenson family in the spring of 
1850, after the close of the College term, and spent 
there the summer ; and again he was with them 
during the summer of 1851. 

This home of the Steven sons, which was a true 
home to Saphir, who was regarded by them as a 
brother, is thus described in the Life and Letters 
of Dr. Stevenson.^ " The father was an excep- 
tionally intelligent, careful, and well-educated man, 
a lover of books, of music, and of scenery. He 
made his children his companions, reading aloud 
to them in the evenings, and taking them for 
afternoon strolls through the glens and lanes of 
the neighbourhood. He was a man of earnest, 
large-hearted piety. The mother was a devout 
Christian, of a quiet, sweet, unselfish spirit. She 
prayed much for her children and with them. 
There were five sons and daughters, William being 

^ Life and Letters of the Rev. William Fleming Stevenson, 
D.D., by his wife. Nelson and Sons, 


the youngest." There could not have been a 
happier or more cheerful household, cultured and 
well-educated, with all that liveliness and wit 
that give a special charm to Irish circles. Saphir, 
who would otherwise have been very desulate, 
found here a home. He thus describes his 
acquaintanceship with Stevenson and its effect : — 
My acquaintance with Stevenson commenced 
in the winter of 1848-9 (his first winter as a 
student in Glasgow), when we attended the same 
classes in Glasgow University, and living in the 
same neighbourhood, had almost every day long 
conversations on our way to the College. . . . When 
we parted in the month of May we had become 
friends, though neither of us, I think, was aware 
of the depth and strength of the bond that united 
us. Stevenson wrote very characteristic letters, 
describing Dublin and its attractions, his quiet life 
in the country, and his varied readings. He was 
very happy and sanguine, and tried to cheer me, 
who felt very lonely in a strange country, and 
depressed by ill-health and other trials. I remember 
distinctly the time when we, as it were, looked into 
each other's soul and felt that we were one. This 
was in reply to a letter in which I had told him of 
the peace and sunshine-which had come to me from 
the eighth chapter of Romans, where I saw clearly 
the consolation and firm foundation of election ; 
that they who believe in Jesus know that God is 
for them, and that all things work together for 
their good. The experimental view of this doctrine 


struck liim very much, and Ins reply was full of 

From that time began our real friendship. 
When in 1850 he repeated to me his invitation 
to spend the summer holidays with him, I gladly 
accepted it. I was received by his parents with 
the greatest kindness, and soon felt at home in that 
truly Christian and peaceful household. Stevenson 
and I were inseparable, reading and talking. He 
was preparing for entering the Divinity Hall, but 
general literature had great attractions for him. I 
was then full of German literature — Schiller, Goethe, 
Tieck, &c. ; he was steeped in the English classics ; 
and so we exchanged thoughts and information. I 
noticed during that summer many characteristics 
which distinguished him all his life. His favourite 
poet was Wordsworth. His taste in poetry was 
very catholic. He already possessed the calmness, 
patience, and humility which recognized the merits 
and beauties of authors who were not congenial to 
him. But Wordsworth was the poet whom he 
loved, who both expressed and developed his own 
individuality. Stevenson had an intense and lively 
love of nature, and a warm appreciation of true 
human nobility in every form and shape, even the 
simplest and most unpretending. 

After describing further the character of his 
friend, he proceeds — 

I looked upon him, as I have done throughout 
my life since, as a gift of God's love to me, who 


had been separated from brother and sister and 
rehitive of every kind since my seventeenth year. 
It was settled that we, joined by Charles de Smidt,^ 
should live together during our divinity course at 
Edinburo'h. Our circle was varied and somewhat 
cosmopolitan, owing to de Smidt's Dutch and Cape 
fellow-students, and to my Jewish and German 
friends. . . . Our most intimate friend w^as the 
Eev. Theodore Meyer, who was Assistant-Professor 
of Hebrew in the New College. He came over in 
the year 1848 to Scotland, after having witnessed 
the exciting scenes of the Eevolution in Berlin. 
Mr. Meyer came to Christianity out of Judaism and 
Eationalism. Havino^ been brouo;ht into contact 
with the various forms of theology at Berlin, he 
had a very sympathetic and genial manner with 
young men who were passing through similar phases 
and conflicts ; so that, while we looked up to him 
on account of his experience and learning, we felt 
quite at home in his company, and he frequently 
joined our Saturday expeditions. 

The three, Saphir, Smidt, and Stevenson, who 
lodo^ed tog;ether, dubbed themselves, in allusion to 
their birthplace or lineage, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 
They attended chiefly the ministry of the Eev. 
Dr. Charles Brown, who w^as valued by many of 
the most thoughtful in Edinburgh for his eminently 

1 Charles de Smidt was of Dutch descent, and born at the 
Cape. He was ordained, and died young, after a few years' 
active ministerial labour in Cape Colony. 


spiritual, Scriptural, and experimental preaching. 
He was a man of a singularly refined, sensitive 
mind, of deep spiritual feeling, and of great 
knowledge of Scripture. Saphir much valued his 
ministry, and derived great benefit from it. The 
view which Saphir gives, in the following extract 
of his friend Stevenson's position at this time, 
partly reflected his own : — 

" While he was inwardly rooted in the truth, 
and living a life of communion with God in prayer 
and study of the Scriptures, his theological views 
were as yet undeveloped, and he felt, as most 
thouo;htful students do, the disturbino^ effects of 
modern speculation and of neology. His mind was 
candid and active ; his temperament was calm. He 
was determined to examine carefully and slowly, 
and to collect material diligently. The \^ ritings of 
Archdeacon Hare, of Trench, Maurice, and Kingsley, 
exerted a great influence on him. He was keenly 
alive to the culture, breadth, and manliness which 
characterized them, and fascinated by the power 
and vividness of their modes of thought and ex- 
pression. On the other side, there was much of 
the old-fashioned representations of so-called ortho- 
doxy, which repelled him, or at least offered 
difliculties to be overcome. He was very sensitive 
to any want of justice or candour in the treatment 
of divergent views, and still more to any want of 
reality or delicacy in the expression of spiritual 
experiences. But the real conflict was occasioned 
by the mind now coming into close contact with 


the solemn and mysterious doctrines of revelation, 
with the question of revelation itself, of the 
authority and inspiration of Scripture, of sin, of 
atonement. He read more largely than the average 
student, and perhaps with more sympathy with 
what I may call vaguely the modern theology ; and 
those who did not know him intimately might have 
fancied that he had become one of its disciples, 
while in reality he had a deep conviction that the 
simple Scripture truths which he had embraced in 
his childhood would in the end shiue forth to his 
mind more clearly ; and that while many mis- 
conceptions and unessential additions in the old 
mode of thought would be removed, applications 
of greater breadth would be educed and a more 
healthy tone imparted." 

" Mr. Stevenson," says Mrs. Stevenson in her 
Memoir, "always delighted to acknowledge how 
much of the impulse of his life he owed to his 
friend Saphir." 




Letter to Kingsley, and Reply of Kingsley — Letters to 
Donald Macleod, now Editor of Good Words, and others — 
Unreal Orthodox Phraseology — Right Method of studying 
Scripture — Union with Christ — The Reaction against 
Shams threatening to become itself a mighty Sham — 
German Literature — Striking Dream — Consciousness of 
Magnetic Influence — Joyousness of Easter and Pentecost 
— Ruskin — True Self-Culture — God the Source of all 
Personality — Claudius and Manly Christianity — Mission 
Work begun. 

IN this chapter we give a series of letters written 
to various friends, showing his state of mind, 
and his opinions on many important questions, 
during the period of his life in Edinburgh, as a 
student of theology. The first is a letter to Charles 
Kingsley, referred to in Kingsley s Memoirs : — 

"47, Castle Street, EdhibuTcjh, 

''October 21, 1852. 
"Rev. Sir, 

"You will be surprised, that without having the 
pleasure of your acquaintance, or any kind of introduction, I 
take the liberty of requesting you to accept the accompanying- 
little biography of my brother ; but the wish to send you my 
heartfelt thanks for your writings, which in a time of struggle 
and inward conflict have so often strengthened and rejoiced 
my heart, is so strong, that I venture this somewhat uncon- 
ventional step. 


'* I am from a German family, and was educated in Berlin. 
The simple, joyous faith of childhood gave way gradually, as 
I became older and was brought into contact with philosophy 
and poesy ; and when, owing to various circumstances, I came 
a few years ago to Scotland, a rigid Calvinistic mode of appre- 
hending Christianity vras little calculated to bring me back to 
Christ, the true Life Transfigurer and Truth Eevealer. Yet 
after struggling and seeking, it has pleased God to let me see 
Christ, the perfect God Man, who alone draws us unto God's 
communion, and makes us true, real men ; the dark riddles 
that had perplexed me began to be solved ; in God becoming 
man I saw, I felt it ; the most glorious solution of my soul's 
questions, the most glorious Poetry had appeared. I was so 
happy ; but although I knew myself one with many Christians 
here in love to Christ, yet the number of those who view the 
gospel as the leaven which is to pervade all earthly things was 
very limited (I speak of my friends tlien), and at that time 
your sermons and other writings gave me such joy, comfort, 

" Allow me to thank you, and to thank the dear Lord, who 
sent you to open your lips to proclaim the glorious world- 
conquering gospel in this our age, which, with all its outcry 
against shams, is so forgetful of the highest reality. May 
your work be richly blessed I 

''I will not attempt to apologize for troubling you with 
these lines, but conclude by assuring you of my deep esteem 
and gnititude. 

" Adolph Saphir." 

The answer to this letter is oiven in the first 
volume of Charles Kincjsley : his Letters and 
Mernoirs of his Life} It is as follows : — 

^^ Ever sic y^ Xovcinhcr 1, IS 52. 
" To Adolph Saphir, Esq. 

''If I am surprised at your writing to me, it is th*e 
surprise of delight at finding that my writings have been of 

1 P. 353 of the 3rd edition. 


use to any man, and above all to a Jew. For your nation I 
have a very deep love, first, because so many intimate friends 
of mine — and in one case a near connection — are Jews ; and 
next, because I believe, as firmly as any modern interpreter of 
prophecy, that you are still ' The Natioc,' and that you have 
a glorious, as I think a culminating, part to play in the history 
of the race. Moreover, I owe all I have ever said or thought 
about Christianity as the idea which is to redeem and leaven 
all human life, ' secular ' as well as ' religious,' to the study 
of the Old Testament, without which the New is to me unin- 
telligible ; and I cannot love the Hebrew books without loving 
the men who wrote them. My reason and heart revolt at that 
magical theory of inspiration which we liave borrowed from 
the Latin Rabbis (the very men whom we call fools on every 
other subject), which sinks the personality of the inspired 
writer, and makes him a mere puppet and mouthpiece ; and 
therefore I love your David, and Jeremiah, and Isaiah, as men 
of like passions with myself — men who struggled, and doubted, 
and suffered, that I might learn from them ; and loving them, 
how can I but love their children, and yearn over them with 
unspeakable pity ? 

*' You seem to be about to become a Christian minister. In 
that capacity your double education, both as a German and as 
a Hebrew, ought to enable you to do for us what we really 
need to have done, almost as much as those Jews among whom 
your brother so heroically laboured — I mean, to teach us the 
real meaning of the Old Testament, and its absolute unity 
with the New. For this we want not mere ' Hebrew scholars,' 
but Hebrew spirits — Hebrew men ; and this must be done, 
and done soon, if w^e are to retain our Old Testament, and 
therefore our New. For if we once lose our faith in the Old 
Testament, our faith in the New will soon dwindle to the 
impersonal ' spiritualism ' of Frank Newman, and the German 
philosophasters. Now the founder of German unbelief in the 
Old Testament was a Jew. Benedict Spinoza wrote a little 
book which convulsed the spiritual world, and will go on 
convulsing it for centuries, unless a Jew undoes what a Jew 
has done. Spinoza beat down the whole method of rabbinical 
interpretation — the whole theory of rabbinical inspiration ; 


but he had nothing, as I believe, to put in their place. The 
true method of interpretation, the true theory of inspiration 
is yet sadly to se^k ; at least such a method and such a theory 
as shall coincide with history and with science. It is my belief 
that the Christian Jew is the man who can give us the key to 
both — who can interpret the IS'ew and the Old Testament both, 
because he alone can place himself in the position of the men 
who wrote them, as far as national sympathies, sorrows, and 
hopes are concerned, not to mention the amount of merely 
antiquarian light which he can throw on dark passages for us, 
if he chooses to read as a Jew, and not as a Kabbinist. 

" I would therefore entreat you, and every other converted 
Jew, not to siuk your nationality because you have become a 
member of the Universal Church, but to believe with the old 
converts at Jerusalem that you are a true Jew because you 
are a Christian ; that as a Jew you have your special office in 
the perfecting of the faith and practice of the Church, which 
no Englishman or other Gentile can perform for you — neither 
to Germanize or Scotticize, but try to see all heaven and 
earth with the eyes of Abraham, David, and St. Paul." 

The next letters we notice were written to Dr. 
Donald Maeleod, present Editor of Good Words, 
with whom in his student years he was very inti- 
mate, and to J\liss Stevenson, a sister of Fleming 
Stevenson, now Mrs. Meyer. These letters were 
often full of humour. He had naturally much 
sarcastic power, (which however he kept in subjec- 
tion,) arising from instinctive insight into character 
and motives. In private intercourse he was genial, 
quaint, and amusing, and clear-sighted as to men 
and things. There was great sagacity, but simpli- 
city and naturalness. No man had a greater 
abhorrence of pretences or shams, especially in 
connection with religion, and of that crafty dip- 
lomacy by which it is often attempted to guide 


ecclesiastical and religious affairs. All mere showy, 
fussy, superficial religiosity he detested, and like- 
wise all religious expressions which had no lifelike 


He writes to Macleod from Aberdeen in 1849, in 
a letter which shows that his opinions about the 
Bible and philosophy had then become what they 
remained ever after, to the close of his life. They 
are expressed with remarkable clearness and force, 
considerino^ that he was not then eighteen years of 
age :— 

"Since I last wrote you, I have been a month or so in 
Holland, and have lost my eldest sister, Mrs. Schwartz, a 
great trial to us all. I have been exceedingly happy in Mr. 
Brown's family. He is a pious, enlightened, well-educated, 
and somewhat continental-like man, and I have had great com- 
fort and joy in his house, I was very happy to hear of your 
brother's preferment, and I wish that he may be blessed richly 
amoDg the people. 

" Since I last wrote to you I have had a good deal of study, 
and have gone through the philosophical systems from Thales 
to Kant. The consequence of this and other things besides 
was to modify essentially my old opinions. I view now the 
Bible in a different light from before. I have come to see in it 
a sure and unerring standard of truth, a revelation of God, 
which must be received and digested and become ours, but 
submitted to as purely objective, not at all subjected to our 
ideas, views, or feelings. 

" In fact these philosophical systems are elaborate, subtle, and 
contain also truths ; some are very beautiful and captivating ; 
but their darkness is great, and the full solution of these 
problems which occupy our immortal soul is found only in the 
Bible. It is now the object and aim of the Christian to make 
God's thoughts, ideas, views, his own, so that he stands not 
only under the Bible as an all-prevailing authority, but lives 
it as it were ; comes to be of the same mind and taste. Of 


course this can only be through our communion with the God- 
man Jesus Christ. There are two extremes, I think ; the sub- 
jective Christianity, while not giving the Bible its proper place, 
lays all stress upon the felt union of the heart with Christ, and 
makes the Christian life and faith flow spontaneously out of 
the love of Christ in the heart, or Christian consciousness ; and 
the other extreme, attaching due, if not more than due, import- 
ance to the objective truth of the Bible, leaving out of con- 
sideration the necessity of this objective truth becoming our 
individual property, and appropriated by reason and heart. 
Both, I think, are dangerous. I was for a good time deep in 
the tirst extreme, and I am conscious, for my part, that not 
only does such a state of mind give rise to an unsettledness 
about doctrines, but it leaves the heart in constant doubt, 
because it rests more upon what / feel or love, and what Christ 
is in me, than upon the promises of God, and what Christ has 
done for us. I don't know whether I have made myself intel- 
ligible. I attach now more importance than I used to do to 
the views a person holds. I see a great connection between the 
will and the understanding, the head and the heart. To have 
eternal life is to know Jesus Christ, of course not merely with 
the reason, but with the whole mind. On the whole, this is a 
promise given to you and to me, that Christ's Spirit will lead us 
into all truth ; but we shall know Christ's doctrine if we are 
willing to do God's Will. I begin to see the gospel truths as 
thoroughly and essentially different from all systems of philo- 
sophy. These are all human systems, and the truth must not 
be mutilated to please some fellows, who know perhaps some 
sixty old Greek books more than others, or have become crazy 
in their admiration of art and their own soap-bubble specula- 
tions. In saying this I have Germany in view ; but it is 
quite delightful to think of the manly, Christian apostolic 
exertions the German Evangelical Church has been making, 
the last two years. I hope, if it is God's will, that I shall 
work in connection with the German Church, and should it 
turn out so, I would not grudge having spent some time in 
Scotland, for I have learned, I trust, in your country many 
things which a German needs more than any other. . . . 

" I have a most delightful friend here, a Mr. Sachs. I never 



saw a more upright, transparent, healthy character than his, 
and his information and wit render his society very delightful. 
He was married a few months since. I have a College friend 
with whom I am very intimate. He is from the Cape of Good 
Hope, of Dutch family, and intends to go in a year to Holland 
an 1 study for the Dutch Church. He is a very fine fellow in 
every respect. We go together to Edinburgh, which is settled 

In anotlier letter to the same he writes : — 

''Aberdeen, May 1, 1850. 

"Cold wind — Rain threatening — No sun — No music- 
Barbarous country. 

" What you say about Philosophy appears to me very true. 
I think that old Socrates had attained the very height when 
he said, he was the wisest because he knew that he knew 
nothing With regard to Moral Philosophy, I think it would 
be ^00(1 to base it on New Testament or Bible principles. 
The Ethics of the New Testament would be worth while 
studying. For the last three months I have been reading 
classics on a grand scale, and getting on pretty well. I pur- 
pose to finish the Odyssey and Iliad in a fortnight — to read 
through Thncydides and the most of ^schylus and Sophocles. 

*' With regard to my views, I am getting rather more 
* unsound,' in the Scotch acceptation of the term. I find so 
few people here who jyrpfer the Bible to everything else, be it 
Confession-book or Prayer-book ; so few who can read a chapter 
in the Bible without putting into it all the School theology 
system and Calvinism of the Presbyterian Church ; and so 
few who have toleration for anybody who has not the same 
views as they. A lady, the other day, said to me that it was 
a sign whether a man was a Christian or not, if he keeps 
the Sabbath. I repled that I never read that in the New 
Testament, but 1 remember the verse : * Hereby you shall be 
known as My discipLs, if you love one another.' I can tell 
you, my good frien'l, that I am not at all so weak-minded as 
not to see the beauty and the advantages of a well-observed 
Sabbath, but whenever it is made the essence and centre of 
Christianity, it is as anti-Christian as Popery itself. What 


an easy thing to sit four hours in church, and spend the rest of 
the Sunday in a close room, and then during the six week-days 
to live only to oneself ! . . . I have not read any Philosophy for 
a long time, only David Hume, who puts me into a fever and 
makes me semi-delirious whenever I take him up. Such con- 
sistent sophistry never was. Yet who can help admiring that 
bold man! The English are always too strongly decided on one 
side. When they begin to philosophize they destroy everything, 
both human mind and material world. Berkeley and Hume 
have attacked both world and mind. Show me a German who 
has been so extravagant. If scepticism begins in a British 
mind, he is cooler, milder, more consistent in it than any 
German, and I think we may look for the w^orst infidelity — 
Materialism — on this island. 

'' With best wishes for all Islanders, specially yourself, 
" Your affectionate friend, 

"A. Saphik." 

Writino; to the same friend from Edinbur2[li, 
where he had gone to study in the winter, he 

says : — 

" Stevenson, and a Cape of Good Hope friend, and I live 
together, right merrily. 

" I study Calvin on the New Testament, Luther, Jeremy 
Taylor, and Church Fathers. Besides English modern litera- 
ture, I read now Carlyle's Life of Sterling. 

"Donald, I tell you Carlyle without Christ is as great a 
sham as the whiners, and perhaps greater. I admire Carlyle, 
but I nearly cried to-day to see that so honest a soul cannot 
understand the truest — the holiest One — that ever lived — 
Jesus Christ. 

" i\ly demi-gods are tumbling down — Schiller, Goethe, Phi- 
losophers, — this Carlyle too. To whom shall we go? Thou 
alone hast the word of eternal life ! 

"Onward, then! — God is better than all the pretty and 
gorgeous iaols. 

" I have a meeting of German boys and gii-ls every Sunday, 
and give them an address. I enjoy this little work. I have 


enough teaching to keep me in bread-and-cheese ; but as I wish 
to go soon to Germany (for I don't know why I should stay 
here), I want to make as much money by teaching or trans- 
latinsr from German as I can." 

Writings in the winter of 1851 to Miss Steven- 
son, when he was a student in Edinburgh, he 

says : — 

" I begin to see a deeper meaning in the current orthodox 
phraseology ; but it ought to be translated into our language. 
My views of the Bible become daily more Pascal- and Claudius- 
like ; that is, I see it as a mystery, light and life intelligible 
only to the heart-reason — chords which give music only by a 
similar experience. I think the constant and thoughtful 
reading of the Bible the greatest and best means of self- 
culture. Only let us read with calm historic minds, and like 
children, and not expect words to have diiferent meanings in 
the Bible from anywhere else. I find it both instructive and 
comforting to read parts of the Bible corresponding to your 
mental state at the present ; the Psalms especially can be 
read in that way. I think we should strive to view man 
as a unity ; thought, language, acts, they are internally 
connected with the One, the being that says /. Therefore, 
good words are a sign of a good man, if they are his words, 
not put on, but Ids as much as his hands are his ; and the 
like of good works. So if the man is good, in everything he 
will be good ; good and bad, for ' evil is always present with 
me.' But Christ cleaves and cuts off what is bad in leaves 
and flowers, — let us only be rooted in Him. This comparison 
of an organic miion with Christ (John xv.) is my greatest 
comfort. Were we mechanicallij tied to Christ, the link might 
be broken ; but an organic union of branch and root, vine and 
branches, is inward, and becomes necessary, eternal. So we 
are in Christ. And as a tree, that becomes always more 
firmly rooted, will extend branches that widen and bring- 
more fruit, we must strike daily deeper and deeper root in 
Christ (be connected daily), and thus increase in strength, 
beauty, and holiness. I must write you some time or other 


my thoughts on organic union with Christ, and organic 
development, but I am sure you will think very much the 
same thing, if you consider John xv. and the like passages 
in that way." 

Ill the same letter he proceeds to speak of 
questions of the day : — 

"I do think that the reaction agfainst shams is threateninjj 
to become a mighty sham itself. I am afraid of all Emerson- 
admiring Christians ; either that they deceive themselves, or 
are deceived. It is an advantage to know that twice two is 
not five ; but, after all, except we know that it is four, we 
cannot be good arithmeticians. But let us come from the 
everlasting Noes into the Everlasting Yeas. Not as a mighty 
Corpse, but as moved by God's Spirit, let us see the world ! 
God only is the real self-subsisting Entity — the To Be. Only 
what is in Him, and as far as it is in Him, is; only that 
which is viewed in connection with Him, is viewed as it 
really is. Apply this to science, theology, history, everyday 
life, and we shall soon come to know with certainty Realities 
— Yeas. The Beality and Yea has come to us in tangible 
visible shape; I feel as if Thomas had put my very finger 
into Christ's side. I have as great — and greater — evidence 
of Heaven, Life, Redemption, Eternity, as of the existence 
of this table I write upon. To this, and along with this, 
comes the world of inward experience ; not only of mine, 
but of yours, and Krummacher of Berlin, and of Claudius, 
fifty years ago, and all the different hearts that for six 
thousand years have been living in the quiet Yeas and not 
in the Noes. Kingsley is a noble man, who sees everything 
in Christ ; and I am afraid, till we come to this, we see 
nothing in Christ." 

He writes in another letter about German liter- 
ature, and literature in general : — 

" I am sure German literature will give you many a 
pleasant hour. We have had a noble line from Klopstock 
down to Uhland, and in that garden there are noble fiowers; 


yea, the poison flowers even and weeds have beauty, and are 

" Do you know I have a sad feeling that I love Poetry and 
Art, when it is also withoat God and truth, with too great 
fervour ; too much with my heart ! I had oncp a dream that 
I went to heaven, and when asked whom I wished to see, I 
said first Goeihe, then Shakes^ere ; and then Peter looked 
at me with a glance of pity and reproach, and I burst out, 
crjing, 'Let me see Jesus Christ.' I dreamt that in 1848, 
when I was a fanatic Poesy and Art worshipper, and I can't 
tell you how often 1 remember this dream. Is it not strange ? 
Yes, it is not easy to love Go I above all, and nothing like 
him. God Himself keep our hearts aright, and mould our 
characters ! 

" Yet Goethe and Shakespere are noble; yea, even prophets, 
perhaps, a la Balaam. 

" I wish we had Cliristian Carlyles, Thackerays, Dickenses, 
&c., but certainly the new age is coming and we may expect 
great things. With regard to Germany, I hope very much 
indeed. A noble Church, a Christianity where the whole 
man, intellect, feeling, imagination is shaped and transformed. 

" Foolish Solomon, you say. Yes, I am. Alas ! I know 
it too well. I have a very strange nature. I feel, when 
others would never think of feeling; yet notwithstanding 
these anomalies, that somewhat pernicious universality, I am 
glad I can feel intensely for men, churches, nations, entirely 
unconnected with me. I don't know what it is, but I believe 
there is a kind of magnetic influence which chains me to a 
good number of beings — an influence of which I have been 
conscious, and exercise now and then by force of will. By 
magnetic I mean power of spirit upon spirit." 

He writes on tlie New Year : — 

" So the Kew Year is in ! Have you noticed how beautiful 
man is at Old Year's end and New Year's beginning ; how 
the undercurrent of love and affection, cheerfulness and 
earnestness breaks through accretions of time and worldliness 
at that time; and how features long dead or dead-like are 
then transfigured and smile 1 It is such a noble thing, and 


would we had more such times in the year ! — nay, the whole 
old Christian almanack would I fain bring back, if I could, 
without frightening my anti-popish brethren, and without 
encour-iging my anti-free lom brethren. 

** I do not know whether you have ever felt the deep and 
holy meaning of Easter — after the earnest winter, and before 
the coming of spring, lying in the heart of the year, as the 
very central point of our Christian life ; or the joyous solemn 
meaning of Pentecost, when nature is in her glory, and the 
blessing of God has covered the whole earth with beauty; 
the symbol of the Spirit summer, which came on that first 
Pentecost day, and comes ever since. 

"Verily, I am thankful that that which appears to me as 
the very ideal of a spiritual heaven — transfigured life ; of 
seeing Divine truth in all earthly phenomena ; of penetrating 
through the symbol to the Prototype ; of living continually, 
in clem, was meiites Vaters ist ; that this idea has been realized 
— a{)proximately at least — in the Church. 

"I think it beautiful and useful for me at least, for minds 
constituted like mine \ but it would not do, and in England 
as well as in Germany it has found too ardent and one-sided 
admirers. But as long as we make not a means an end we 
are safe." 

In one of his letters he speaks of Ruskin : — 

"Delightful lectures by Ruskin, who has a very earnest 
view of history, and is keenly alive to the want of veneration 
and truth of modern ages, and appreciates the Middle Ages, 
as most men who have faith and imagination do." 

The following letter is full of practical philo- 
sophy : — 

" Have you not learned something, been influenced in some 
way, however trifling, seen something, which you will re- 
member either by itself or uuitedly with other things, in 
every human being you have had the smallest intercourse 
with? I think, if you examine closely, you will find it so. 
And as in every human being there lives some rays, some 


features, some chords of the All-light, the All-beauty, the 
All-music, God shows Himself to us, mirrored in men ; in 
one man perfectly — Geloht sei Jesus Christus. Look at Paul, 
Augustine, Luther, they are types of one class of Christians ; 
or Peter, James, Bernard of Clairvaux, Calvin — another class ; 
or John, and my heart wishes, next to him, Neander; look 
at every variety of Christian character, every kind and shade 
of natural gift, temperament, and nature transfigured and 
leavened by the gospel ; in every peculiarity and individual 
feature you will find a feature of God ; and all Christians 
together — every one with his individuality — will reflect the 
full, perfect image of God. In heaven, in the Kingdom of 
God, not one soul is superfluous, or a repetition of another, 
but every one, the very smallest, is needed to make up the 
fullness, as all chords in a harmony. 

"Now have I made myself understood? What meaning 
does this give to our personality and individuality 1 You 
see Fichte's ' / Am ' has made a deep impression upon me, 
but my ideas of the I are based on my ideas of the Thou 
which is above us, and in Whom we are. But I cannot deny, 
that although I do not belong to any school of Germany, the 
modern Philosophy has done me the very greatest service, 
and I think people might as well teach the Ptolemaean 
system again, or recall yesterday, as ignore the influence of 
Philosophy on Theology. . . . Some one says quaintly, yet 
well : ' He has religious life and knowledge who can say I 
and Thou with the understanding of his heart.' That is, 
who is conscious of his individuality, the existence and destiny 
of his personality, and can say I, and at the same time knows 
that his I is based upon and lives in a Thou : the Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." Self-culture in the true sense 
consists in the development of the indi\iJualifcy as it stands 
in relation to or connection with God. 

" Now, men and philosophers, who recognize the I but not 
the Thou, always refer man to himself, to be true to himself, 
and let this self develop freely. This is only half the truth, 
for the I without the Thou, and unless in the Thou, cannot 
live and prosper. (Good-night, Mr. Emerson, here we part.) 
The Bible says. Cultivate the (/ift that is within you ; let 


Christ be formed within you ; abide — not in yourself — in 
J/e, and / in you. Hence (do you see the step?) Christian 
self-culture consists in looking upon Christ, and conforming 
to His image, in remaining in connection and intercourse with 
God, in removing all outward and inward obstacles which 
prevent Christ from being formed within us, in eradicating 
all remnants of sin in disposition, will, feeling, which mars 
the image of God in us. 

" The Christian sense of self-culture is altogether different 
from the worldly and Christless sense. iSJ^ay, in this point 
to my mind all questions concentrate ; all unbelief, infidelity, 
Carlyleism, Emersonianism. The question is, Man without 
God, or Man and God in God. 

"I said, eradicating all remnants of sin which belong to 
self-culture ; for it is clear, since we are destined to be perfect 
as our Father, since God has chosen us before the foundation 
of the world, that we should be holy and without blame 
before Him in love (Eph. i. -i), — it is clear from this, that 
then we will have our full, pure individuality ^ lohen loe are 
without sin ; that is, a Christian's sin belongs not to his 
individuality, and that in becoming like Christ we truly 
become ourselves. 

"Is not heaven the perfect union with God, the perfect 
life of the individual in God? Is not this a glorious hope 
and prospect, and it will strengthen us to fight against that 
deep mystery, Sin and the Devil ? " 

Speaking of Claudius, lie tlius refers to the per- 
vasive manliness of real Christianity : — 

"Claudius is a reality, and a noble specimen of the true 
Christians, who have not ceased being men when they became 
pious (if it were possible), but embrace Christ with their 
whole being, in all its faculties, powers, feelings, gifts ; who 
do not read to God a tacit lecture as some whiners do, saying 
the world is bad, and all is vanity, and poetry is godless, 
wine is a delusion, and love heathenish idolatry; but who 
know what it means to live in this world, and not loith it, 
and yet as a heaven-citizen. Ah, this Christianity has such 


a chemical power of separating from it all the dirt and froth 
and earthy clay that has been amalgamated, and baked, and 
kneaded into it, th:)t there is no fear but we shall yet see it 
overcoming and penetrating all that is good in our nineteenth 
century develo[)ment, and appearing in a nobler, fuller, grander 
shape than hitherto. 

It was a deep sorrow to Saphir, in his student 
days, that he could never visit his own home at 
Pesth, as he would at once have been obliged to 
enter the army. He refers to this in a letter to 
Miss Stevenson : — 

*'I received such an affectionate letter from home ! Almost 
depressing, such a shower of love, and brought back the 
time vAhen I was such a spoiled, petted child. My sister 
Johanna sends me a list of her favourite pianoforte pieces. 
I send them to you, as I have nobody here to play them to 
me. My gooil mother is so anxious to see me, and I cannot 
get home on account of the abominable Austrian Government." 

He writes from Edinburgh to Macleod in refer- 
ence to the memoir of his brother Philipp : — 

"I am very glad that you are going to notice my brother's 
biography. Don't allude to anything connected with politics, 
it would be very itupriident, because of the despotic Govern- 
ment of Austria. I don't know what has struck you in his 
life ; I am sure his child-like faith and energy have impressed 
you ; also his objectivity, trusting to Christ, not his feelings. 
One thought I would like all wlio read it to notice : that a 
Jew is a human being, and becomes a Christian even through 
conviction of sin and longing a^'ter God and attraction of 
Christ, just as the others. But you will see yourself. 

" As for myself, don't you see how I have kept myself 
altogether in the background with my opinions or views ? I 
tried to show my brother, and not my meditations on and 
about him. If I have succeeded in this, I shall be very 


" Stevenson will be here in a week. 

" I have not yet got enough teaching ; it is a great bore, 
and especially where one has to do with Philistines." 

He discusses the question of Baptism in the 
following letter : — 

" The question about Baptism is rather difficult. But to 
avoid extremes is not difficult. Let us hold fast these two 
points : 1. That the one thing needful consists in the change 
of heart effected by God's inclining it to surrender itself to 
Christ, and that upon this and this alone dej ends salvation. 
2. That no one of Christ's institutions is mere ceremony or 
si^rn, but reality, spirit, channel of God's communication of 
Divine influence, which two points avoid the extremes of 
Baptismal Begeneration and Quakerism. 

*' There is some difference between the Church of Scotland 
and that of England in the definition of B.iptism. . . . The 
Chm-ch of England definition leaves out of view the state of 
the recipient ; in the Church of Scotland the benefits of the 
New Covenant are represented as sealed and applied to 

In letters from London dated October 1853, 
he consults his friend Macleod as to taking a 
degree in Glasgow of B.A. He refers also to a 
stay of a fevv months in Hamburg. This was the 
year before he went there as a missionary of the 
Irish Presbyterian Church. In the second letter, 
he says : — 

"My dear Donald, 

" I am very much obliged for your kind letter. The 
only fact on which I am in doubt is, whether my not having 
been in Glasgow as a first year student won't prevent my 
taking the degree. ^ 

*' I am doubtful whether my return to the continent will be 

^ He afterwards got the degree of B.A. 


possible. My case is very simple; but my poor father, the 
quietest man in the world, is, on account of his connection with 
the mission, odious to the Government, and I have perhaps 
from this reason greater difficulties than I might have other- 


"I worked this summer for three months in Hamburg 
among the Jews and the Christians (poor wretches both), and 
I am very glad I did it, because it drove the cobwebs out of 
my head, and made me think more of Christianity as a power 
in life. Besides, it gave me opportunities to practise preaching, 
and, on the whole, it has had a decided influence on my 

" I likewise saw Harms in Hanover, the holiest man I ever 
saw. Perhaps you have read about him and his missionary 
Institute, as your brother ^ knows about him. I stayed a 
week with him. Here in London I have been looking and 
trying my powers in Houndsditch and the immediate vicinity; 
and so you see, that this summer, though full of change 
and variety, was yet a very practical and working time with 
me. It is very kind of you to wish me to come to Glasgow, 
and I assure you, if things turn out so, I enjoy the prospect 
very much. You are just the fellow to do me good, since I 
want to be as practical and English in my tone of mind as I 
can. I have taken a great hatred to hair-splitting and 
mystification. Since it has pleased God to let us live only the 
tenth part of the lives of the antediluvian people, we can't 
alford time for it." 

From this letter we see that Saphir was uow 
actively preparing for work among the Jews, to 
which he desired to devote himself. For this pur- 
pose he had paid a visit to Hamburg, and after his 
return, he had " tried his powers " in London, in 
Houndsditch and the immediate vicinity. The 
Jewish work was that on which his heart was set. 
The hope of engaging in it had stimulated him in 

1 Dr. Norman Macleod. 


all the difficulties of his student life, for he had 
had to su23port himself during almost the whole 
of his College career. Now that this was finished, 
he longed to begin active labour among his kins- 
men. And though he had soon to retire from 
the direct Jewish mission work, his heart was in 
it to the end, and he was in fact, if not in name, 
all his life afterwards, a great Jewish missionary. 




Licence as a Preacher, and Ordination in Belfast — Dr. Cooke 
presides — His Marriage — Mrs. Saphir's Character and 
Influence— Hamburg — His Idea of Jewish Missions — His 
Remarkable Tracts — Israel Pick's Influence — Threatened 
with Military Service by Austria — His Views as to 
Methods of Work not sustained by the Mission Committee 
— He resigns. 

AFTER Adolph Sapliir had completed his studies 
in 1854, he was strongly reeoninri ended by 
Dr. Keith to the Irish Presbyterian Church as a 
missionary to the Jews. To Jewish mission work 
he desired to devote his life, and therefore gladly 
accepted the opening. He was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Belfast, the celebrated Dr. Cooke 
acting as Moderator of Presbytery, and speaking 
of him with much cordiality. He was ordained 
by the same Presbytery as missionary to the Jews. 
A few days later he was married to Miss Sara 
Owen, who belonged to a family much respected 
in the neis^hbourhood of Dublin. This marriage 
was a most happy one. His wife was of a cheerful 
disposition, with much humour, and considerable 


ability. She adored her husband, and watched 
over him with the most tender care. Never were 
people more devoted to each other. Mrs. Lawson, 
the widow of Judge Lawson of Dublin, and a 
very intimate friend of the Saphirs, having known 
Mrs. Saphir long before her marriage, writes : 
— "Dr. Saphir's health from early youth was so 
frasfile that he could never have lived so long 
had it not been for the extreme care his wife took 
of his health." This was the impression of many 
who knew them best, and was, we believe, correct. 
Her watchful anxiety put Mrs. Saphir often in 
an awkward position ; as she seemed to many to 
be unnecessarily jealous of her husband receiving 
visitors, attending meetings, and undertaking en- 
gagements. She was, whether right or wrong, only 
actuated by devotion to him. They lived together 
— scarcely ever separated — for thirty-seven years. 
She was everything to him, and they were bound 
to each other with extraordinary affection. 

Shortly after their marriage they left for their 
new home. Hamburg, one of the great commercial 
centres, famous for the grandeur of its buildings 
and the beauty of its situation, has a large number 
of Jewish residents of all classes, many of them men 
of wealth and position. It is one of the most 
godless of cities, the church attendance in propor- 
tion to the population being infinitesimally small. 
The Irish Jewish mission effected good not only 
among the Jews, but among the Christians. 

Adolph Saphir, in his youthful vigour and 


inteDse love of his nation, and belief in its 
future, — a belief which was a passion with him all 
his life long, — had ideas of his own, which went 
far beyond the gathering of a few converts, or 
even of a small Christian congregation. He hoped 
to influence Judaism in a larger way through the 
press, by proving in tracts addressed to the Jews, 
that Christianity was the natural and necessary 
outcome of Judaism, as revealed in their own 
Scriptures ; that Jesus was the true promised 

He had naturally great literary talent, not only 
as a didactic teacher, but as an imaginative writer, 
and would have been famous both as a poet 
and novelist, had he devoted himself to literature. 

His tracts were written in an attractive style, 
the arguments being carried on through imaginary 
conversations. He thus refers to them at a later 
period : — ■'' During my short stay in Hamburg, I 
wrote several pamphlets for the Jews. These did 
not remain unnoticed in Jewish circles. They were 
cordially recommended by men like Dr. Wichern 
and Da Costa. They have since been republished at 
different times and widely circulated. They have 
been translated into English and Dutch." Had he 
been able to carry out this method of working in 
the manner he intended, there must soon have 
been inquiry among the Jewish community ; but, 
as is often the case, the new methods were not 

David Livingstone was utterly condemned by the 


London Missionary Society's Committee, when he 
set out on his great African explorations instead of 
confining his energies to the small station allotted 
to him. Saphir's new methods were not approved, 
and he could not get the means to carry them 
out. So he resigned his position and salary, which 
was, from the worldly point of view, a very 
hazardous step, seeing that he was then quite 
unknown in this country as a preacher. 

He and his wife cast themselves adrift from a 
fixed appointment, waiting on God's guidance to 
direct them to some other field of labour. It is 
important that this should be borne in memory. 
Whether he was right or wrong, as regards the 
committee and his colleagues, he made a great 
sacrifice to the conscientious conviction of duty. 

As the tracts, above referred to, were almost his 
first publications, and have been much used and 
blessed in Jewish mission work for many years 
past, it may be interesting to note them briefly: — 

One of them is entitled, ' Wer ist der A20ostat ? ' 
(' Who is the Apostate ? ') It is divided into two 
sections — First Evening and Second Evening. The 
reading of the Haggada, Liturgy of the Passover, 
is ended, and the people sit sorrowfully around the 
table. A young married pair are holding the feast 
for the first time in their own house, and have 
invited some friends to spend the evening with 
them. One of these friends is an old man with 
deep-sunk, half-closed eyes, an old and trusted 
family friend. Another is a young man of slight 


build, with light, well- arranged hair, who looks 
through his spectacles with a sagacious and self- 
possessed look ; he is a student, the brother of the 
young wife ; the third is a friend of the husband 
in his youth, who has been many years abroad, 
and returned to Germany just a few years before. 
He has taken the little sister of the philosopher on 
his knee, and asks her if she knows why this feast 
is observed on this day of the year. She answers 
quickly that it is the Passover. As he is going 
to explain further, the old family friend breaks in 
with the remark that it brings back so vividly the 
long past, and makes them feel united with their 
fathers in all parts of the world, and sends back 
the thought to the wonderful deliverance from the 
house of bondage in Egypt. 

The young philosopher interrupts, " That's all 
very beautiful and poetic ; but it is opposed to 
sound understanding, or rather pure reason, to 
believe in these as real events ; we must separate 
the kernel from the shell. The idea which lies 
at the basis is true ; and the ceremony, though 
rather wearisome and unintelligible to us young 
people, may promote morality." 

The old man is indignant, and asserts that the 
observance of the day is like a monument of brass, 
reminding of an actual event of history, as the 
observance of October 18 reminds one of the battle 
of Leipsic. 

Then the third friend who had been lono- abroad 
expresses his cordial agreement with the old man ; 


but charges his kinsmen with the mere memory 
of a historical fact, while forgetful of the God 
of their fathers, and shows by quotations from the 
prophets that they had changed altogether the idea 
of God ; they worshipped an unknown, concealed, 
general Deity, but not the God who led them 
out of Egypt, and gave to them His thoughts 
and commandments. The young man listened 
contemptuously ; but the old man repeated the 
sad words of Jeremiah — God mourninor over the 
departure of His peo^Dle — their forgetfulness of Him. 

The stranger says the thought of God is terrible 
to one who does not know and love God as his 
Father, but only as the Creator of the planets, the 
Architect of the universe, the Ruler of the bound- 
less expanse. Does a child know his father as the 
physician, or the lawyer, or the man of learning ? 
Does he not rather know him as the man whom 
he loves, and in whom he trusts, who protects him, 
nourishes him, loves him, teaches him, and does all 
for him ? 

The conversation is continued, the stranger 
showing clearly that the Jews had lost the true 
idea of God, and leading them through their own 
Scriptures to Christ as the true representative of 
God. The argument is maintained with power 
and clearness and freshness, and is well fitted to 
impress Christians as w^ell as Jews. The real 
apostate, he shows finally, is he who rejects God 
as revealed and prophesied of, viz. Jesus the 

124 ' WHO IS A JEW? 

This tract has had a large circiTlation , having 
been employed in connection with many of the 
missions to the Jews, and has been the means of 
great blessing. 

Another tract was entitled, ' Wer ist ein Jade ? ' 
(' Who is a Jew V) " Conversation betw^een a Jew 
m name and a true Jew." The parties who con- 
verse are called Neophilus and Theophilus. Neo- 
philus begins by quoting the famous passage of 
Lessing about the t^vo rings. You know^ the wise 
saying which the distinguished Lessing puts in the 
mouth of Nathan the Wise. No one can tell which 
is the true ring, for the skilled artist has made two 
other rings so like the first, that even the maker of 
the pattern ring could not decide. That describes 
my position as regards religions ; one is as good as 
another ; each considers his own the true one, and 
is in this belief pious and blessed. Besides, my 
religion is simple. The Lord our God is one Lord. 
Theophilus, who is a Christian Jew, shows how^ 
these loose views in regard to false religions are 
opposed to the law and the prophets, and how the 
Jews have lost the true idea of God, as a Being to 
be loved and adored. The argument is chiefly 
against the Neologian Jews, of whom there are now 
a very large body in Germany ; but it tells also 
against the old-fashioned orthodox Jews, who have, 
in a dry monotheism, lost the idea of the God of 
loving-kindness and tender mercies revealed to 
their fathers, and of the need of sacrifice as an 
atonement for sin. 


The method adopted by Saphir, as a Jewish 
missionary, must undoubtedly have told on the 
Jews, as he adapted himself precisely to their 
state of mind, and wrote vividly and attract- 
ively. This was a kind of work for which he was 
specially fitted. He possessed even more power as 
a writer in German than in English — popular as 
his writings have been in this country. Had he 
remained in Jewish mission work, he might have 
supplied a literature that would have been of 
great influence in all the Jewish missions. In a 
preface signed by Delitzsch and Faber in 1889 
to a new edition of the Tract ' Wer ist der 
Apostatf they say, "When it was first written, 
thirty years ago, the writer was a young un- 
known theologian in Hamburg, who, with his friend 
Israel Pick, laboured there for the conversion of 
the people of Israel." This Pick was a man of 
considerable power, a convert under Mr. Edwards, 
Free Church Jewish missionary at Breslau, who 
influenced Saphir very much in his views of the 
great future of the Jews. They then proceed to 
speak in the preface of the great assistance given 
to them in their work for Israel by Saphir, during 
the previous ten years. " Without Adolph Saphir's 
active help, neither the preparation nor the com- 
pletion of Lichtenstein s Hebrew Coinmenfary on 
the Neiv Testament would have been possible." 

Saphir's heart was to the end above all else in 
Jewish mission work, not chiefly because the Jews 
were his kinsmen, Ijut because of the certain 


promises of God to them, of the glorious future 
which he saw before them, and of the blessing to 
be expected through them to the world. 

The circumstances referred to led him to leave 
Hamburg, and give up the direct Jewish work. 
There was an additional difficulty as to his residing 
in Germany, owing to the Austrian Government 
having a claim upon him for military service. 
This Government was then under the strong in- 
fluence of reaction, after the war of 1849, and 
would, if they could have obtained his surrender 
by the North German authorities, as they were 
trying to do, have insisted on his entering the 
army, however unfitted physically for such service. 
After about a year's connection with the mission, 
he left Hamburg and went to Glasgow in 1855. 
He was thus beginning life anew, casting himself 
adrift, and trusting absolutely to the guidance and 
care of God. 




Norman Macleod's Interest and Friendship — Letter of Principal 
Brown on his AYork in Glasgow — Letters to a Friend — 
His Work among the Germans — His Anxieties — Jowett's 
Book on Paul — Birth of his Daughter — Call to South 

WHEN Saphir returned to Scotland, he had no 
definite plan as to future work. He sought 
out old friends in Glasgow, especially Dr. Norman 
Macleod and Dr. David Brown, and consulted 
with them. Dr., now Principal Brown, thus 
describes to us the interest they felt, and the sug- 
gestion made by Dr. Macleod, which was carried 
out : — 

"Dr. Norman Macleod called on me, and said 
the Germans had been so kind to him when in 
Germany that he wished to repay it in a sub- 
stantial way, and proposed that he and I should 
engage one of the churches for Saphir to preach in 
every Sunday evening (it was winter), to the Buy 
a Broom German girls, who were stray waifs, aud 
in great danger of losiug their morals. I went in 


with all my heart to this, and we first called a 
meeting of the Germans residing in Glasgow, asking 
them to join us. They said, 'We don't want 
German preaching. Some of us have English 
wives, and go to the English-speaking churches.' 
' Yes ; but it is not for you, but these poor girls for 
whom no one cares, and they arc your country- 
women.' This touched them, and they agreed to 
come the first evening and encourage the girls to 
come. And we two agreed to be there, and after 
the service to go to the pulpit together, state what 
object we had in view, and exhort both the girls 
there and the audience to help this work. The 
sermon was simple and beautiful, on ' Our Father 
which art in heaven.' The first words of it were 
these: — 'This could be said by our first parents. 
But when they fell out with God, they fell out with 
one another, and woman was trampled on by man. 
It is Christ that brings both together, and woman 
owes to Him all she now is, and we can 7ioiv say, 
" Our Father." ' We then, each of us, praised the 
sermon and commended the work." 

Of this period he says in a short abstract of his 
life. " In Glasgow I preached in German during six 
months. The church, which had been put at my 
disposal for this purpose, was fairly Avell attended, 
the congregation consisting of several German 
families, governesses, young men of business, and 
working-people. During my stay at Glasgow, I 
translated Daniel and the Kevelation into Eno^lish." 

Durincr this residence in Glasgow he wrote at 


times to a warm friend, the Eev. James Williamson, 
a remarkable man, to whom he was much attached, 
who had given himself to continental work, but 
died early of consumption, of whom the Rev. 
W. T. Johnston, of Worcester, his nephew, thus 
writes : — 

" My uncle was for some time minister of the Protestant 
Church of Louvain, Belgium. He died in 1856. My uncle 
and he (Adolph, as he always called him) were like brothers. 
Saphir frequently visited my grandfather's house, at Greenock, 
during the time of his studentship at Glasgow University, and 
it was some time between '47 and '50 that I first came to 
know him, and I have still a vivid recollection of his appear- 
ance, then thin and pale, gentle-looking and retiring, with 
a foreign accent, that sounded to me very pleasant — in most 
other respects, much as he was to the end.'' 

In one of these letters to Mr. Williamson, 
referring to his services, he says : — 

'' I had the first German service last Sunday. The attend- 
ance was encouraging. It may interest you to hear something 
about the service. I began with the Segensgruss and a hymn. 
Then prayed, and read the Gospel and Epistle. After this I 
said the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. We sang again, and 
then the sermon followed. Prayer, singing, and the bene- 
diction concluded the service. I don't know whether you like 
the Creed. My chief reason for saying it is to confess before 
the people the leading facts of salvation. As I call myself 
neither Lutheran nor Calvinistic, they ought to know at once 
that I am not hekenntnisslos. I think I heard you once 
remark, that you thought the Apostolic Cieed defective, as 
it mentioned not regeneration, &c. The people were very 
attentive ; but, I assure you, it is difiicult to preach to people, 
of whom you know well that they do not understand Christ's 
language. I am very careful about style, delivery, etc., because 
I know these things are to theiu of first importance, and 1 


am anxious to do all in my power to induce them to listen. 
There are many Jews among them. I am going to call on 
some families next week, and hope to see soon whether there 
is a field for me this winter. 

" Since I saw you, I have received good news from Pesth. 
The Government have given at last permission to the Evan- 
gelical Party of the Protestant Church to erect a Theological 
Faculty. The Professors have been appointed, and are lehendige 
Manner. This will be better for Hungary than Kossuth's work. 

" I am busy now, and very thankful that I am, for I find 
it difficult to be patient, and am often troubled with unbelief 
and anxiety. And yet what a miserable thing it would be to 
have only a layer of occupations separating me from doubt 
and distrust ! " 

111 another letter he says : — 

''You will be glad to hear that I had a good attendance 
last evening, better than on the former one. I preached on 
Thomas' unbelief. I see many Jewish faces in the church, 
and feel myself constrained to preach more in a missionary 
way than I would to an ordinary congregation. Next Sunday 
being Reformationsfest, I intend to speak on the Reformation 
from Christ's words, ' Come unto Me, all ye that labour,' &c. 

"I am reading just now Jowett's new book on Paul. I 
like the style, but not the matter. He has no idea of the 
Divinity of the Old Testament and its dispensation, and sees 
therefore many Jeivish views in Paul. Dr. Brown tells me the 
book is making much noise in England, and I think he intends 
reviewing it. 

" I did not think the translation of Auberlen would give 
me so much to do ; the proof sheets are horrible, and enough 
to cure any one of the furor scribendi. 

"I suppose Meyer wrote you of his ordination, and the 
testimonial his German congregation gave him. I am reading 
very little now, and think I won't undertake a translation 
again ; translating Auberlen has been useful to me. I see 
Stanley has written on Palestine. Harms in Herrmansburg 
was accused before the Consistory of heresy, and his enemies 


wished to degrade him from his pastoral dignity and imprison 
him ; but they did not succeed." 

In the next letter he tells of the birth of his 
daughter : — 

'"To day I have to give you great news. My wife brought 
me yesterday ein Meines Tochterlein. She is remarkably 
well, I am thankful to say. 

" I don't agree with you in your estimate of Harms ; he is 
very orthodox, that is from a Lutheran point of view. I think 
Shields promises well. Pray for me; I believe more firmly 
in the power of prayer than I used to do. What a haze of 
sophistication, Wissenschaftlichkeit and obscurations of simple 
truths is that, out of which I am but gradually emerging ! I 
mean with my heart and inward life ', theoretically it is easy 
enough to get rid of it, but the evil inflaences remain very 

''I am in great distress about my friend Pick, the Jew, who 
is falling into strange exaggerations about working miracles, 
&c. I love him very much, and think he is yet to do some- 
thing for the poor Jews. It is very mysterious that he has 
taken such a course." 

The services were continued from Sabbath to 
Sabbath with much interest and success. A sum 
of £100 was raised to sustain them ; but the 
position was altogether uncertain for the future. 

Saphir continued in Glasgow for more than half 
a year, enjoying the friendshi]3 of many Christian 
people, and bringing to Christ and strengthening 
the souls of many of these poor Germans to whom 
he ministered. 




Settlement at South Shields — Mr. J. C. StevensoD, M.P., and 
Mrs. Stevenson — His First Experiments as to the Method 
of Delivery — The Method adopted — His Idea of Preaching 
— His Appearance and Manner — His Book on Conversion 
— Eev. James Hamilton, D.D. — Death of his only Child. 

AT this time, without any plan of his own, but 
by the special guidance of the Providence of 
God, he was about to enter on his great life-work 
as an English preacher. On the suggestion of an 
old College friend, he was invited to preach at 
Lay gate Presbyterian Church, South Shields. This 
friend was Mr. Stevenson, architect, of Bayswater, 
London, whose father was the proprietor of large 
chemical works at South Shields, and had erected 
this church for the benefit of his workmen and the 
neighbourhood. Here Saphir constantly enjoyed 
the society of Mr. James Cochrane Stevenson, who 
has since been for many years Member of Parlia- 
ment for South Shields, and who, as an elder, was 
most active in the congregation ; also of his wife, 
Mrs. Stevenson, daughter of the Eev. Dr. Ander- 
son of Morpeth, a minister wtII known in the 


Church of Scotland, and then in the Free Church, 
and afterwards in the English Presbyterian Church. 
After his first visit to Shields, to his friend Mr. 
Williamson, he writes : — 

•• I have since been in Shields and preached there two 
Sundays. I like the place and the people. They are ^;?as^*V, 
and I think I can see suitabilities on both sides, if I may use 
such an expression. I have since heard from Mr. Stevenson, 
who takes the chief interest in the church, that the congrega- 
tion is going to give me a call — and I feel much inclined to 
look on this neutral ground as very desirable for me in my 
present position. The place is increasing rapidly, and I would 
have a good field among the working-men, who are great 

The call \Yas given very cordially, and as 
cordially accepted. 

Here he really commenced his career as an 
English preacher. He had at first some difiiculty 
as to the best methods to be employed, and began, 
we believe, by writing out and by reading his 
sermons. He found however that there was too 
much restraint in this, and soon adopted the 
method he always used afterwards, of thinking 
out his subject with care, writing out portions, 
and then speaking freely, without even notes, in 
the pulpit. But that there was careful prepara- 
tion, and not mere extempore speaking, was evident 
from the closely connected and compact thought 
of each sermon. He had a wonderful power of 
compressing in short space, a large and compre- 
hensive view of his subject, and doing so with 
an intense fervency, and a thrilling tone of a deep, 


spirit-stirring voice, which had a kind of magnetic 
power, never to be forgotten by those who came 
under its influence. He considered that the great 
object of preaching ought to be the interpreting of 
Scripture, the unfolding of it, in its relations to 
other parts, and its application to practical life. 
Few preachers of our own, or almost any other 
age, have had as great a knowledge of Scripture. 

The quietness of Shields, where there was not 
a large congregation — though he considerably in- 
creased it — gave him time to develop and regulate 
his powers as an English preacher, and also leisure 
to pursue his studies in general literature as well 
as theology, both in German and English. 

At Shields he had his admirers, but was com- 
paratively unknown beyond. He wrote however 
a book, when minister there — his first book — 
entitled Conversion, which attracted the attention, 
amonsf others, of the late Dr. James Hamilton 
of London, who thus noticed it in the pages of 
Evangelical Christendom: — -'With its deep in- 
sight, its glowing tone of love and gladness, and 
its abundance of thought, original, wise, and 
beautiful, this is a riire book. Mr. Saphir is 'a 
householder who bringeth forth out of his treasure 
things new and old ' ; and while he secures our 
confidence by his loyalty to the unchanging veri- 
ties, he deserves our gratitude for many new and 
happy illustrations. Nor do we know many books 
where so much scholarship is brought to bear with 
so little ostentation, nor many books adapted to 


SO wide a range of readers." This book contains 
sketches of conversions, of both Old and New 
Testament periods. It shows great insight into 
character, and gives true portraits of the men as 
well as vivid descriptions of the circumstances. 
By many it is felt to be one of the most interest- 
ing of his books, — written with youthful fervour. 
It abounds in sentences in which great truths are 
given in few words, and in a manner not to 
be forgotten — as for instance : — 

Stop here a moment, and ponder on these great 
truths. Jesus is both Lamb and Lion, Saviour 
and Judge, the Forgiver of sins and the Judge 
of sinners. Now Satan tempts us to think that 
Jesus is severe and awful to approach noiv, whereas 
he makes us believe that in that great day Christ 
will be merciful and indulgent. . . . Whereas the 
truth is exactly the reverse. Noiv, Jesus is the 
Lamb. Be not afraid of going to Him, however 
guilty and sinful. He has not a harsh word for a 
sinner comins; to Him now. His whole messao^e is 
pardon and peace. What can be more gentle than 
a lamb ? Even the youngest child will approach 
fearlessly and confidently, and put its tiny arm 
round the neck of the gentle lamb. Thus, 
sinner, come boldly to Him who now is Jesus, 
Saviour. But a day is coming when there shall 
be revealed the wrath of the Lamb ; when the 
Saviour will no longer say to His persecutors and 
enemies, " I am Jesus " ; but shall manifest Himself 
as the righteous Judge and King, and say to all 


who rejected and despised Him, "Depart from Me.'' 
'^ Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish 
from the way when His wrath is kindled but a 
little." Blessed are all they that trust in Him ! 

The following passage on the Psalms expresses 
much in a few words : — 

Knowest thou the chief musician whom God 
has given to His people ? that man after His 
own heart, who knew life, with its bitterness 
and joys, its trials and sorrows, its sunshine and 
gloom, its mountain heights and dark valleys ? 
Lovest thou the Psalms? "The Bible, in minia- 
ture," Luther calls them ; where thou seest the very 
heart-life of God's saints. In the night of afflic- 
tion, in the storms of temptation, in the unquiet 
of repentance, in the twilight of doubt, have you 
found in them supplications, and sighs, and out- 
pourings of heart that you could make your own ? 
In the joy of fulfilled wishes, in the ecstasy of 
gratitude and praise, in the overwhelming moments 
when you were crowned with loving-kindness and 
mercies of which you were not worthy, have you 
found in them hallelujahs, songs of triumph and 
adoration ? My fellow - Christians, I know you 
have, for God has given this Book of Psalms to 
be the companion of His people — and His Church 
will use it and sing; it, till we learn that new sono- 
in heaven. And out of that song-book did the 
prisoners (Paul and Silas) doubtless sing. 

These passages, and numberless others, clearly 
indicate the power he possessed as a preacher, before^ 


he was brought into prominent public notice. The 
whole thought of the book is scriptural and pro- 
found, yet clear, conveying the lesson intended 
in the various narratives referred to tersely and 
lucidly — with poetic power describing the scenes, 
and yet never sacrificing the evangelical teaching 
to pictorial efiect. 

His ministry in Shields continued for five years, 
and was undoubtedly of importance in God's 
providence in preparing him for his future work. 
Here also in Shields, he and his wife had a pre- 
paration of another kind, under the chastening 
hand of the Lord, in the very sad loss of the only 
child they ever had, a little girl of about a year 
and a half old, whom they had named Asra. This 
Avas a terrible blow, which he could not think of in 
after years without deepest pain, and which he often 
recalled and dwelt upon, in times of depression. 




The Rev. George Duncan — The Congregation — Speedy Popu- 
larity — The Church needs to be Enlarged — Letters to Mr. 
Stevenson, M.P. and others as to his Work — Letters de- 
scriptive of Saphir and his Ministry — Edward Irving — • 
Campbell of Row —Sermon to Children — Letters to Lady 
Kinloch — Joy in his Work — Spiritual Fruits. 

AT last lie was to enter on his great mission. 
His fame had reached London, not only 
through Dr. James Hamilton's admiration of his 
book, but also through Mr. Duncan, his predecessor 
at Greenwich. The Kev. George Duncan, a man 
beloved by all who knew him, son of the celebrated 
Dr. Duncan of Euthwell, when about to retire from 
his ministerial charge of St. Mark^s Presbyterian 
Church, Greenwich, w^as anxious to find a successor 
who, he hoped, might acquire great influence for 
good. He had himself been in North Shields 
before going to Greenwich, and having man}' 
friends there, had naturally heard much about 
Saphir and his spiritual teaching. He had also 
heard him himself. He strongly recommended 
him to his people, who were a comparatively 
small body, and Saphir was unanimously called 
to be their minister. 


He went to Greenwich in 1861. The effect of 
his ministry was instantaneous. The church, which 
had been sparsely attended, soon became densely 
filled, not only on the Sundays, but at the week- 
night services. The people Hocked, even from the 
popular evangelical ministry of Canon Miller, to 
hear him, and there gathered round him people of 
all churches, especially earnest-minded Christians. 
There was so much spiritual life in his preaching, 
and so much instruction based on thorough know- 
ledge of Scripture, that Christian people felt both 
quickened and edified, and many careless persons, 
attracted at first by the crowds, were impressed 
under his ministry. 

The following letter from one who was early 
attracted to his Greenwich ministry gives a vivid 
idea of his power : — 

''It is very difiicult to write recollections of 
beloved Dr. Saphir which will be oi 'piiblic interest. 
Through his wonderful ministry he has become, so 
to speak, incorporated into one's being, and will 
exercise a life-long power over those who really 
knew and loved him. His words, his manner and 
tone of voice, with the merry quick twinkle in his 
eye, all return to the mental vision almost as though 
we had just been enjoying them. 

'• The first time I saw Dr. Saphir was in St. 
Mark's Church, Greenwich. How well 1 remember 
it, that ethereal-looking little man (minus gown 
and bands), speaking without any note, and with 
that peculiar sideway glance at his left hand which 


made people think be had hieroglyphics written on 
his finger-nails ! I remember feeling it was a 
wonderful address, but somehow it seemed a long 
way off, heaven-high above me. 

" But we continued going, and soon his ministry 
began to exercise that wonderful interest and 
fascination which made ns think nothing of the 
long exposed walk twice a Sunday in any wind 
or weather, so only we might be present at the 
feast to follow. 

'' What was the secret of it ? a fine intellect ? a 
splendid command of language ? a wide and com- 
prehensive knowledge of Scripture ^ All these he 
had, and they were blessed gifts of God ; but 
the secret was, that Jesus was to him first and 
foremost. He saw Jesus from Genesis to Reve- 
lation, and this Jesus became transfigured (at least 
to one of his hearers), no longer the abstract 
mighty Being far away somewhere in heaven ; but 
the living, loving, exalted, coming Son of man, yet 
to be glorified and owned in this world, where He 
is still despised, when all things, natural as well as 
spiritual, shall own His sway, and praise His Name. 
Ah ! it was wonderful what a new lioht dawned 
through those burning words of his, and how God 
owned him to be His servant, by the way in which 
so frequently he answered the unspoken questions 
of the heart, clearly and concisely, as though they 
had been laid out in order before him, whereas he 
knew nothing, but his Master knew, and gave His 
servant the needed portion to distribute ; or some- 


times it was some trouble ahead, and even before 
it reached us, the needed words of comfort and 
strength had already been spoken, in readiness 
by God's faithful messenger. 

" The short opening prayers, specially on Sunday 
mornings, have left a marked impression on my 
mind. They only lasted two or three minutes, 
and yet often I have felt, ' That is enough ; I can 
go home now if need be ' — it was so truly entering 
into the presence-chamber of the King. He loved 
to repeat that we had come to meet with Jesus, 
and claim the promise made to those gathered in 
His Name ; we had come not because it was eleven 
o'clock on Sunday morning or because it was the 
Presbvterian Church, but to see Jesus. 

'' The devil was a great reality to him. He used 
to say, the preacher saw the place full of angels and 
devils ; the praying Christians, the seeking souls 
helped him ; all the rest dragged him. 

" And then the Communion seasons — oh ! what 
times of blessing they were I — when our hearts 
burned within us, and the disciples as of old could 
say, they were glad, for they had seen the Lord. He 
would have liked the Communion every Sunday, the 
resurrection-day of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ ; our birthday, as he loved to call it ; but he 
only succeeded in bringing the people to a monthly 
instead of a quarterly Communion. 

" Tn private intercourse his simplicity and child- 
likeness were in marked contrast to the mighty 
power displayed in the pulpit. If reference was 


made to his sermons, he would speak of them as 
though some other person had preached them. 
' Yes, 1 like that ; that is a beautiful thought ; is 
it not wonderful V and so on. 

" When there was a collection for the Jewish 
Society, that was a gala time with him ; he would 
announce the collection before beginning to speak, 
and then launch into his subject. AVe had good 
measure on these occasions ; he would generally 
speak for an hour or nearly so, ranging through the 
Scriptures, unfolding to us God's plans and purposes 
for His beloved chosen nation, proving that His 
promises are true and faithful, and must lie fulfilled. 

" He was so painfully sensitive that he became 
greatly depressed, and after his thrilling a large 
congregation, on going into the vestry you would 
find him down in the depths ; some little trifle 
^^'ould make him feel that his work was of little 
use. He would shrink up like a snail into his shell 
in a shy sort of way. Did he see a little group 
of people in the aisle after the sermon, ' Oh, there 
are a good many people, I will go round the other 
way ; ' while the said people were lingering in the 
hope of a passing word and a shake of the hand. 
T often thought he deprived himself of some of the 
cheer he might have had. 

" He was not only sensitive, but sympathetic. 
Often there comes to my mind an expression used 
by him in prayer, ' It may be we are too weak to 
pray, then we put our hand into the h.and of Jesus, 
and say, " Pray with me." ' " 


Another member of the Greenwich congregation 
writes of him : — 

'' Most truly his life was most valuable, and 
much more widely and richly blessed of God 
than any outward manifestation ever showed. . . . 
Sitting under his ministry just made one instinct- 
ively feel that secret communion with God w^as 
the atmosphere he breathed. His preaching was 
no mere delivery of a sermon outside as it were 
of himself, but a pouring forth of the God-given 
wisdom, with the whole man so engrossed thereby, 
that while in the pulpit seeming, as one said to 
me one day, ' strong as a lion ' — afterwards there 
was complete exhaustion. 

'*0f a highly-strung, keenly-sensitive nature — as 
a medical man wdio knew him only through attend- 
ino' him durino- a severe illness abroad, said to me 
afterwards, ' His mind is too bio for that little 
body,' — while the simplicity of a child mingled 
with his profound spiritual experience. The chief 
beauty of his ministry w\as, that while too deep 
to be fully appreciated by the shallow-minded 
Christian, it was so clear and simple that I have 
seen the poor in this w^orld, illiterate as regards 
earthly wisdom, but taught of God, drink in the 
message, and echo out a glad Amen ; while by 
MSS. and printed books many gained rich blessings 
wdio had never seen his face. . . . 

'* I owe much to him. May your ' work' be ' an 
inscription of praise unto the King of Israel, who, 
from among His chosen people, raised up one, and 


SO filled and gifted him by the Holy Ghost, to 
gather in and build up His people in their most 
holy faith ! ' . . . As of Apollos, one might truly 
say of him, ' mighty in the Scriptures/ for as a 
Jew he had a most marvellous grasp of the whole 
Word of God." 

In the following letters to Mr. J. Cochrane 
Stevenson, M.P., with whom he had been so 
intimately and pleasantly associated at South 
Shields, he gives a cheerful view of his work. 

Tn a letter dated Feb. 4, 1863, he says :— 

" I send by this post a circular about the enlargement of 
our church. I had many difficulties within and without, 
but all has ended well, and the present plan has been adopted 
quite cordially and unanimously. We have been much 
encouraged in our work, and my most sanguine expectations 
have been surpassed. I am anxious to have the spire com- 
pleted, and above all, to open the church free of debt. Next 
Sabbath we are to add seven office-bearers : three elders, viz. 
General Shortrede, Mr. L. Mackay, and Mr. Basden. Among 
the deacons are Mr. Fraser (Dr. Hamilton's brother-in-law), 
and Mr. Strahan the publisher. Our congregation is certainly 
a very mixed one : Episcopalians, Baptists, Independents, 
and a very few Plymouthists ; but they are beginning to 
coalesce, and we have every reason to be hopeful. I am 
just expecting Mr. J. E. Mathieson and Carstairs Douglas.^ 
Douglas is to hold a meeting to-night in our church. We 
are expecting McLeod and Stevenson on Monday. There is 
to be a breakfast at Strahan's in the morning, and a dinner 
at the ' Trafalgar ' in the evening for Good Words folk : 
Hughes ('Tom Brown'), Ludlow, Trollope, &c. I was to 
be among the small fry, but I have to be at a Jubilee 
meeting in Blackheath. McLeod and Stevenson are ffoino^ 

1 The well-known missionary to China of the Presbyterian 
Church of England. 


to Germany to import deaconesses to Glasgow ! Did you 
notice in jSTovember Good Words an article, 'Words of Life 
from a Roman Catholic Pulpit ' 1 If not, I think you will 
be interested in it. I intend writing a second article on the 
same priest. As I am advertising myself, I may also add 
that I wrote ' The Land of Chain,' and that I translated 
the poem on the Noah's Ark in the article on ' Toys.' " 

In another letter to Mr. Stevenson he says : — 

'• I should have acknowledged your letter, and thanked 
you for your kind contribution before this, but I had no 
end of meetings and engagements the last week. ... I 
quite sympathize with you in your feeling about the traditions 
of men. But, I suppose, that while we retain our liberty 
in our own conscience and mind, we have to bear the infirmity 
of the weak brethren. I am convinced however that our 
Church, as a whole, is paralyzed by the prevailing legal 
spirit. Those who enjoy the gospel of Jesus Christ, and 
have a clear need of the truth, will as a rule be large- 
minded ; and my impression is, that if our ministers and 
elders were more evangelical, and more delivered from the 
spirit of bondage, our churches would in a very short time 
present a totally new appearance. 

" ^Ye are going on well, thank God, in our church. The 
building, to speak of the external first, turned out better 
than w^e expected : good air, easy speaking, plenty of light, 
and the aesthetics gratified. The expenses turned out heavier 
than expected, £3800; we are still £2000 in debt. The 
congregation is large, and I have much reason to praise the 
Lord. We have 300 communicants, and a considerable 
number of very earnest spiritual people. We are going to 
introduce the Synod's Hymn-book the first Sunday in March. 
I would have greatly preferred the collection of Mr. W. F. 
Stevenson, but yielded to the caution of two old elders, who 
of course opposed hymns in general. They are quite old- 
school on every point, and sore about all the innovations, 
and the complete change and enlargement that has taken 
place. They did not want any enlargement, being satisfied 


with what I called a very limited ' Caledonian Club. JS'o 
English admitted.' But the Scotch people did not come 
till the English set them the example. This also is a contest 
between gospel and law-gospel : Sara and Hagar. But I 
do think they have got more light and liberty. . . . The 
English Christians, as a rule, have clearer views ; and the 
chief reason, I am firmly convinced, why we Presbyterians 
do not make more progress in England, is simply our want 
of the true gospel spirit. It sounds harsh, but T could prove 
it to demonstration. 

" AVe have the communion once in every two months. 
7\fter the struggle I laid down from the pulpit the principle 
that like the Apostles we ought to have it everij Sunday. 
For those who like authority for truth, and to whom truth 
is not authority, I quote Calvin and John Owen. In 
Spurgeon's church they have the communion every Sunday. 
But once a month is quite common both in the Church of 
England and among Dissenters. What right have we to 
keep people, who enjoy the Lord's Supper as they do prayer, 
itc, waiting for two months, and in case of sickness, &c., 
four to six % Special prayer-meetings and other self -invented 
extra services are multiplied, but Christ's own institution 
never enters their minds as a means of revival. My peo^y^ 
are almost all in favour of the weekly Communion ; in fact, 
nothing but the gospel binds these heterogeneous elements 
of Baptists, Independents, Episcopalians, ifec, together, and 
I should be very sorry to make Old School Presbyterians 
of them. But enough of Church affairs. I must only add, 
that we have a beautiful spire, and tliat the neighbourhood 
feels much gratified by the edifice. 

" My father has been very ill, and is dying. He sufPers 
much. He very rarely speaks, but often quotes Inrgely 
from the Scriptures in Hebrew and English. Mr. Konig, 
the missionary, gives me a very satisfactory account of his 
state of mind. His hope rests on the truth set forth in 
Isaiah liii. It is a very great trial to me to be so far away," 

The following extracts are from letters written 
dnrino- liis Greenwich ministry to one of his 


most devoted friends — Lady Kinloch — a very dear 
friend to the close of his life. He writes on 
October 2, 1862 :— 

"The Exhibition brought us such a crowd of visitors, 
which is very pleasant, but breaks sadly on one's time. 
Nothing is doing about the church, and I have given up 
thinking about it, but mean to wait quietly till something 
more definite occurs." (This refers to the enlarging of the 
church, which had now become absolutely necessary.) "How 
easy it is to approve of humility, and how difficult to be 
thankful for trials and crossings of will ! 

" To trust in Jesus only, and seek His approbation only, 
is a very hard thing, although it ought to be the very 
easiest and sweetest thing of all. This strikes me most in 
the life of Christ, that the Father was all in all to Him, 
how that man's help or praise could not affect Him, and 
yet what true meekness and considerateness towards men ! 

" This leads me to your remarks on dear Irving. He was 
a great theologian, and felt that the Humanity of Christ 
was a topic sadly neglected. He had greater ideas, and in 
more abundant number, than he was able to master and 
arrange, and he fell naturally into many crudities and con- 
tradictions. But what a true, loving, Christ-like man and 
minister he must have been, when even the dry scholastics 
could not help loving him, and acknowledging in him the 
power of Christ ! Many of his expressions on the humanity 
of Christ I think most unwarranted and unnecessary even 
for his own purpose. There was no sinful tendency even 
in the flesh of Christ; He could be tried, and Satan wanted, 
but in vain, to make this trial a temptation. Yet Jesus 
suffered in all this ; it was a real and fearful conflict. 

"To my mind we hear not enough about God in Christ. 
There is something Unitarian in even our orthodox teaching. 
The sum and substance of truth and consolation to my mind 
is, that Jesus Christ is the true God, and Eternal Life (1 John 


V. 20). How dim are all our ideas of God, until we realize 
a Man, with the print of the nails in His hands, on the 
heavenly throne ; and how distant is God from our daily 
life till we see Him living on earth as Jesus ! I met a very 
striking expression, the other day, in a German Prayer-book : 
' Jesu, lass mir deinen ganzen Wandel auf Erden vor Augen 
stehen, dass ich mich immer darin erneuere,' which may be 
paraphrased : The toute ensemble, or, as the Germans say, 
Gesammteindruck of the Life of Jesus to be constantly in 
us, and before us. We would certainly have less discussions 
of words or forms of doctrine, were our thoughts more centred 
on Christ personally, on pleasing and enjoying Him. While 
I write this, I feel most painfully the very lack of what I 
approve. What a wonderful gift is prayer ! — but I must 
confess that I have not received it as I see it in Scripture 
and the lives of many Christians. It is a very great con- 
solation to me to think of friends who pray for me. A 
minister now-a-days is viewed too little as an individual, and 
too much as invested with an office. When you remember 
me in your prayer, will you pray that God may give me 
sincerity, and faith, and a hatred of sin, and love to Himself, 
and to the souls of men ? 

"I have been thinking much lately of children, and par- 
ticularly the children of Christians. Jesus taking up little 
children and blessing them, is a great and significant fact. 
It requires great wisdom to be both zealous and patient, to 
sow the good seed, and yet not to force growth. But I 
suppose love is a good guide. May you have the joy of 
seeing all your children' in Christ's fold, and all that are 
dear to you ! . . . 

" Campbell of Row is, I believe, a very earnest Christian. 
His theory, I think, is not scriptural. He maintains that 
all are pardoned, and their future destiny depends on their 
accepting or rejecting the pardon. Did you notice a paper 
in Blackioood — a sermon ? The writer groans for a liturgy. 
I am reading Macleod's Old Lieutenant. It is beautiful, and 
I think will be very useful to sailors. It is by no means 
Calvinistic, but this is more implied ; on the whole it is very 
good, and truly Christian," 


In another letter to the same lady, he says : — 

" Loving-kindness and tender mercies form the crown which 
in this present life the Father gives us. Psalm ciii. seems 
to me the most perfect expression of a Christian's heart, 
praising and trusting God, the Eedeemer ; remembering sins 
and weaknesses, and yet rejoicing in a merciful and com- 
passionate Father." 

In a letter written at the beginning of a new year, 
1865, he says : — 

" I hope that this year will bring you much blessing and 
sunshine. May you see daily more of the love of God, and 
of Christ the gift of His love ! Whenever I want to get 
into a region of light and peace, and out of the mists of 
gloom that so often arise, I think of the love the Father 
has to Christ, as our Eedeemer and High Priest, and try to 
realize that it is the same love He has to us. We could 
scarcely believe it were we not assured of it so expressly 
in the Word of God ; but once having seen and believed it, 
we cannot rest in anything short of this, 'accepted in the 
beloved ! ' You will enjoy, I think, John's description of 
Christian experience. How uniform it is in its main features, 
and how completely John the Baptist expresses it when he 
says, ' Christ must increase, but he himself decrease ! ' And 
yet this is growing and enjoying life abundantly. 

" I trust you are feeling independent of everything in the 
spiritual life, except the Lord and His Word. The Father 
and the Son have promised to come to us, and make their 
abode with us. We need not go any distance to any well, 
but have the water of life in our souls. I think of most of 
the personal witnesses, as Paul, John, David, Luther, and try 
to see the grace of God in them, and the glory of God in 
their infirmities as well as their strength. I try to think 
of Paul as a man, fighting with sin, unbelief, gloom, and 
the whole old man, and seeing no other righteousness and 
life but Christ. 

''The common way of hero worship, and gazing at mere 


meu as stars, is utterly false and unpractical; it does not 
glorify God in them, and it does not help us. But when 
we see God's grace in them, they are so full of encouragement 
and comfort, for they point us plainly to Christ. May we 
have such peace and joy in believing, in learning Christ, and 
may our constant desire be to know Him I 

" I send you the Congregational Report for this year, from 
which you will see that God has been with us. I am looking 
forward hopefully to the future. I have been very anxious 
to have thiugs placed on a true and Scriptural basis, and 
God has helped me wonderfully. The Christians in the 
congregation are, T think, growing in knowledge and love, 
and the others are beginning to feel that there is a reality 
in the truth and life of Christ. I have been explaining on 
the Sunday mornings the Tabernacle, and in the evenings 
the Gospel of Johu. I love both subjects dearly, and I am 
thankful that the preaching of the gospel is new to me every 
Lord's Day. Many friends must be praying for me. Some 
of our people have fixed Saturday evening from eight to 
nine for special prayer. It is a great help to me, and endears 
them very much to my heart. We have a colporteur among 
the Jews in Pesth, who has much intercourse with Jews 
specially from the country." 

In a letter written ii] the following year, 1866, 
lie gives a bright sketch of his work : — 

" I have had so many meetings lately, that I feel my 
brain quite exhausted, if ever there was anything in it. 
But it is so difficult to keep quiet in this place. I am much 
encouraged however in my work. I have a class for children 
every Wednesday afternoon. I hold it in the church, as 
about 350 little folk attend, and some grown-up jjeople 
besides. The children seem to enjoy it ver}^ much, and look 
very bright. I tell them the contents of a chapter (I am 
going through Genesis), explaining and illustrating it, and 
asking them questions. They are very lively, and answer 
well. It is my pet just now ; I find the children have less 
difficulty in understanding the truth than the grown-up 


" We have now a missionary in our district. He was 
recotnmended by Horatius Bonar, and he is a very enlightened 
and wise man. Our boys' evening classes are attended by 
sixty roughs, and the ^Sunday evening service in the school- 
room by about eighty to a hundred people. Our Young 
Men's Association too is promising well. This week they 
have a Conversational Meeting on the Second Advent, which 
I conduct. This evening our London Association have their 
annual meeting. They ai-e doing much for the poor in our 
district, and we have made good progress, as far as work is 
concerned. Oh, for more of God's Light and Love ! — the 
time seems so short and the work so great. There is little 
spiritual interest among the people of this neighbourhood. 
Among the believers there is much life ; last year has been 
a very blessed one, also in bringing in souls through the 
preaching of the gospel. 

"I have been led lately to dwell much on the gospel as 
good news to man, coming to him wherever he is, and bringing 
salvation with it — just as the good Samaritan came alone 
to the sick man and lifted him up. I fear I have not suffi- 
ciently brought out in my preaching that it is 'good news,' 
a, joyous sound. The open arms of the Father ought to be 
continually pointed out, and the Door open, explained. For 
many people imagine that they have not got the religious 
temperament, &c., and that they are different from believers 
whom they admire and approve. We cannot speak to them 
too affectionately, and also in too great a variety of ways. 

"I am giving a course of lectures on the study of the 
Bible. I am anxious to show how necessary and practicable 
it is to read the ichoh Bible. I believe my people would like 
to do so, but feel despondent, as to managing it. The state 
of the church is very much to be attributed to not reading 
Scriptui-e, more copiously and connectedly. I intend next 
year, if it please God, to have on Wednesday evenings, 
instead of a lecture, simply Bible readings, taking eight or 
ten chapters, and adding a few remarks as to their scope, 
coriuection, and only explaining what is absolutely necessary. 
I hope thus to get through a very large portion of Scriptui-e 
in the year.*' 


These letters give glimpses into his inner and 
outer life — showing his joy in his ministry — his 
genuine humility and sensitiveness, and his fertility 
of resources in the carrying on of his work. 

Of this time, the Eev. J. Basden, Congregational 
minister of Dedham, Essex, writes : — 

"My father, Mr. E. W. A. Basden, was an elder 
of St. Mark's, Greenwich, when Dr. Saphir was 
the minister there, and I, as a boy, regarded no 
school grief unendurable, considering I should hear 
Saphir on Sunday. ... To Dr. Saphir I owe 
the deepest and greatest spiritual influence of my 
life, and have no ambition other than to preach 
Christ and the Scriptures, as he expounded them to 
me. As to my father, the Bible and ' Saphir ' arc 
his two books." 

These early years at Greenwich were, we believe, 
among the happiest years of his life. Afterwards, 
his health, which had never been robust, began to 
fail, and he scarcely ever again enjoyed the same 
physical strength and vigour. 




His Literary Tastes and Power — Wide Knowledge of Liter- 
ature, German and English — Contributes to Good Words — 
Notes of Various Contributions and Extracts — Tour in 
Germany with the Macleods aud Stevenson — His Tracts 
— The Golden A B G of the Jews^ &c. 

IN 1860, the magazine Good Woixls, under the 
editorship of the well-known Dr. Norman 
Macleod, had suddenly obtained a marvellous 
popularity. Dr. Macleod, who had long known 
Saphir, and, as we have noted, befriended him in 
Glasgow, asked him to write for his journal. The 
publishers of Good Words were also members of 
his congregation. 

He became a frequent contributor. His first 
article was written early in 1861, just about the 
time of his going to Greenwich. It was entitled 
' The Light of the World.' Life, Love, and Light 
are inseparably connected. Speaking of the testi- 
mony of John the Apostle to Jesus, as the Light 
of the World, he says : — 

'' Who knew Him best when He was on earth ? 


Who was His most beloved friend, His most 
favoured disciple, the nearest and dearest to His 
heart? The Apostle John. Is it not a significant 
fact, that the mnn who was most intimately 
acquainted with Christ's humanity, gives the clearest 
and most em[)hatic testimony concerning His 
divinity, — that John, who leaned on His bosom, 
who had the deepest insight into the life, thoughts, 
and feelings, who enjoyed the largest share of the 
confidence and affection of the Man Christ Jesus, 
never loses sight for a moment, in all his writings, 
of the Godhead of the Saviour. The more w^e 
examine His history, the more are we convinced 
that He has the words of eternal life, that He 
is that Anointed One, the Son of the living God." 
Speaking of Jesus Christ as the Light of the 
World, he proceeds : — "Former revelations of God 
were like flashes of lightning, like passing visitant 
rays, like the reflected light of the moon ; here is 
the sun in mid-day splendour, and yet its bright- 
ness is full of healing, so that men can endure it. 
We see God, and yet we do not die, but live. . . . 
Christ reveals God in His words and in His w^orks. 
In Him as the Light, everything is simple, un- 
divided, and perfectly harmonious. His words 
and works are but a manifestation of His person. 
When He taught, and performed His works. He 
never for a moment interrupted His fellowship 
with the Father: as the sun giving light to the 
lowliest flow^er in the valley, leaves not his ap- 
pointed path on high, and as a sunbeam passes 


undefiled through the vilest pollution, Jesus, while 
teaching, healing, working, even when surrounded 
by the guiltiest and most God-estranged, was 
always in heaven." 

He shows that Jesus is the Light of the World 
as to His teaching. His teaching is intelligible 
to all — to Nicodemus as well as the woman of 
Samaria and the fishermen of Galilee ; to use the 
words of Celsus, '•' to woollen manufacturers, shoe- 
makers and curriers, the most uneducated and 
boorish of men, as well as to the great and learned." 

After showing that He also is the Light of the 
World in the perfection of His character, he con- 
siders the various qualities of light, as self-commu- 
nicative, free, seen by itself, calm yet strong, joyful, 
and he applies these characteristics of Light with 
telling power to Christ. 

Some of Saphir's smaller contributions to Good 
Woi'ds were especially for children. Li the letters 
we have given he speaks of his largely attended 
children's services, and the following ' Parables,' 
which appeared in 1861, enable us to understand 
the secret of his success in this interesting sphere 
of his ministry. 


" There was once a kino- whose sons, owino' to 
their folly, lost their liberty, and lingered in prison 
in a foreign land. Their fother's heart could not 
know them to be in such need without determining 


to deliver them. He rose up and went into the 
far land, and after he had bound the jailer hand 
and foot, he threw the key through the grating 
and said : ' Dear children, open the door and return 
home with me. I will pardon all, and forgive your 
folly and disobedience.' But it was a cold winter's 
morning, and the snow was falling. The sons sat 
down, looked at the key, and talked of its size, 
its form, and of the skill of the locksmith's craft. 
Some praised a state of freedom as the noblest, 
and certainly the most indispensable gift. They 
talked of the joy and pleasantness of the father's 
house. Then the father cried : ' The key is to 
open the dooi% you have no time to lose.' But 
they remained there looking at the key, and talking 
about it ; and some of them, putting on a very 
wise face, supposed it could not possibly fit ; 
it must be too small, and something must be filed 
off the wards on one side, and something must be 
added on the other. It was done ; but behold the 
key would no longer fit ! But they cried : ' Now 
indeed we have made a real genuine fine key ! 
How we have perfected it ! Truly we are even more 
skilful than the original locksmith ! What would 
his work have been without our improvement ! ' 
But the key would not fit, and the gate remained 
shut. Then the father spoke, and tears filled his 
eyes : * You don't wish to return ! You love me not, 
and would rather remain in prison than obey me I ' 
They answered : ^ Nothing is nobler, nothing more 
beautiful, nothing worthier of men, nothing is 


higher and holier than childlike love and reverence.' 
Then replied the father, earnestly and mournfully : 
' If you had truly loved me, you would long since 
have opened the door.' 

" But some of them mocked and laughed, and 
said : * The key is indeed no key at all ; and why 
should we need one ? It is very pleasant here, and 
w^e are quite happy. Besides, true freedom is not 
to be found at home with our father. Are we not 
already free ? ' " 


" I came into a hall, and saw in it beautiful 
paintings and noble sculptures, arranged in a 
tasteful and suggestive manner. And I said to 
myself : ' The hand of our artist has been at work 
here. How beautiful are the w^orks of his brush and 
chisel ! — and how beautifully and thoughtfully has 
he grouped them together ! ' And I thought on the 
subjects he had chosen, and considered the details 
of execution, and I began to make a picture in 
my mind of the artist's character, disposition, and 
cast of thous^ht. 

" And I came into a small room, and saw a man 
with his wife and children sitting round a table. 
And I heard a little boy stammering, ' Father/ and 
clinging to the man's breast, and the wife called 
him by his name, and he was the joy and the sun 
of their heart. 

"And I thought : ' What will it help me to know 
God only as an artist, as Him who made mountains, 


and the sea, fields, aod meadows, if I do not know 
Him as my Father, as my Husband, as Him who 
protects, liberates, guides, comforts me, as the sun 
of my heart and my portion for ever ? ' 

" And I thought that for this reason Christ came, 
that we should no longer yearn after an unknown 
God, but pray to and live with our Father." 


" In the quiet twilight I stept into a great and 
glorious cathedral ; and I looked at the wonderful 
pillars, striving upwards to heaven, and my soul 
was lifted up to God. And I heard a rustling and 
nibbling noise, and saw a mouse running anxiously 
and greedily after some crumbs, that it might eat 
them. It sees not the beauty of the house in which 
it lives, it knows not to whose honour it is built, 
it has no eye for the bold structure of its roof. 

*' And thou, man, be not such a grey, hungry, 
greedy mouse in the grand cathedral of this world 
in which thou livest, and which proclaims the 
glory of God." 

One of his addresses to children was based on 
the words entitled, The Four Little Preachers. 
"* There be four things which are little upon the 
earth, but they are exceeding wise. The ants are 
a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in 
the summer ; the conies are but a feeble folk, yet 
make they their houses in the rocks ; the locusts 
have no king, yet go they forth all of them by 


bands ; the spicier taketh hold with her hands, 
and is in kings' palaces ' " — and the following out- 
line shows the lessons he drew from them : — " The 
ants taught to do in summer what cannot be 
done in winter, to be diligent in youth, and to 
prepare for the coming winter. How are we to 
labour for the meat which endureth for ever ? 
Jesus tells us. Just as the people sitting on the 
grass had nothing to do but to take the bread and 
eat it, so if our hearts hunger and thirst after God's 
forgiveness and love, we have nothing to do but to 
trust in Jesus. Jesus is the bread of life. But if 
Jesus is the bread of life, He will show us how to 
prepare our meat in summer, that is, while our 
earthly life lasts ; and then we shall enjoy in tlie life 
to come what we have laid up, not in winter, for 
that life will be much sunnier and brighter than 
any earthly summer. 

" AVhat does the coney teach us ? We also 
require a house, in which we can dwell safely 
here and hereafter. This house must be built 
on a rock, where the conies make their houses. 
They are safe, not because they are strong, but 
because the rock is strong." This he applied to 
building on Christ. Then as to the locusts. What 
did they accomplish by numbers and unity ? And 
as to the spider, what did his perseverance do ? 
He never rested till he got his web firmly placed, 
and nothing could daunt him, and from no place, 
even the palace of the king, could he be excluded. 
Here he impressed the duty of perseverance, in 


prayer, in forgiveness, in love, and then the great 
reward that awaits all who rest not till they enter 
the Kingdom. 

He also wrote the following short tale, which 
appeared in the same journal in 1862 : — 


In a little village on the banks of the Neckar, 
in South Germany, lived Hans Kitter, master 
tailor, with his wife Else. He was not wealthy, 
but free from oppressive care ; he v/orked from 
early morning till late at night, lived frugally, 
sent his children to school, and had always a 
dollar at Christmas to buy some toys, and to erect 
a Christmas tree for the little ones. On Sundays 
he put on his confirmation coat, the identical coat 
in which he had been confirmed, and his beaver 
hat. Else wore the cap with the yellow trimming, 
the handkerchief with the blue border, and carried 
her gilt hymn-book. But who in all the village 
looked so devout and happy as Nannerl, their 
eldest daughter ? She was about fourteen years 
old, and very tall for her age. She wore always a 
white gown on Sundays ; and her blue neckerchief, 
a gift from old grandmamma, looked quite new, 
althoui^h it was nearlv as old as herself. But what 
could look old or grow shabby that was worn by 
her, and folded up by her, and locked up by her ? 
Look at her walking slowly and cheerfully to 


church with the younger chiklrcD, who cling to 
her fondly, and if you do not bless her in your 
heart, I am afraid you forgot your prayers this 

Nanneri was a good girl, fond of nice dress 
and of a village dance, it is true, and I do not wish 
to deny it. The youths in the village liked her 
much ; Conrad Hogel, old Heinrich the carpenter's 
son, more than any one. Conrad was a very 
handsome and kind-hearted youth ; he sang very 
well, and as to steadiness and diligence, none could 
excel him. 

Conrad fell in love with Nanneri, and Nanneri 
fell in love with Conrad, I don't know when and 
how ; for I know it only from Nanneri herself, 
and this is her account : '' Conrad often came to 
my father's in the evening after work was over, 
and we all walked out together into the wood, and 
on Sunday afternoons to the garden. He had such 
an honest face, and was so cheerful and merry, and 
had such fine songs, that nobody could help liking 
him. I was very happy when Conrad was with 
us, and from my childhood never imagined that I 
could live without him ; and after my confirmation, 
one evening I went into our little front garden to 
get some gooseberries for grandmamma, who was 
very old, and lived with us. I went out ; it was on 
a Thursday evening, and there Conrad was behind 
me. I said, 'Good-evening, Conrad.' He said 
nothing. So I did not mind him, but went to the 
gooseberries. But he came after me, and told me 


that he was to be made master carpenter next 
week, and go into a new house next term. I said, 
' I am very glad.' He asked me, ' Are you really ? ' 
I answered, ' Yes indeed.' Upon this, he fell on my 
neck, and kissed me, and said, ' Nannerl, you must 
come and be my little wife in the new house.' So 
Conrad went to speak to my father, and he said : 
' When I married Else I was a poor man, and had 
nothing but my trade. You are an honest 
Christian and workman, and if Nannerl loves you, 
I give you my blessing.' This was on Thursday 
night, a fortnight before grandmamma died." 

And so Nannerl married Conrad, and they 
lived together happily for some years. They had 
sufficient to support themselves, although some 
trouble and care occasionally to get money for 
wood and winter clothes; but they got through, 
and had health, good summer weather, fine walks 
in the fields, beautiful flowers, mountains and 
glens, ice-skating in winter, gratis; and this is 
frequently one of the differences between poor and 
rich people ; the poor are not too proud, and enjoy 
these gratis things — health, water, walks, &c. 

Quiet little village ! — quiet peaceful family ! — 
no change, no event ! Conrad's mother dies, and 
Nannerl goes next spring to look at the flowers on 
her grave. Nannerl has a son, and all the Ritters 
and Hogels are at the christening ; and Nannerl, 
in the white dress, is as beautiful as ever. There 
is great happiness in the little room, in the centre 
of which is a very large fine cake, so suggestive 


that every one lias some remark to make, and 
something to jDraise. Quietly they live on, no 
event, no change ! — till one day the cry is heard, 
" War ! war ! Napoleon ! " Poor Conrad becomes 
a soldier. Nannerl's tears flow fast. Little Carl, 
dear tiny baby, plays with papa's czako, and is 
delighted with it. " Was blasen die Trompeten ? 
Hussaren heraiis ! " 

There is old Hans, with a serious face, giving 
advice to his son-in-law ; there is Else trying to 
comfort her daughter, but weeping herself ; there is 
Conrad's sister in a corner, packing his little knap- 
sack silently ; there is Nannerl beseeching him to 
stay. But the drum, the drum, it calleth so loud ! 

Thou art right, Conrad, and a true-hearted 
German. Not pou7^ la gloire goest thou out to 
fight. No, much-to-be-respected master carpenter, 
it never entered thy head ; but as thou thyself 
sayest : '' This land is German land, and the king's ; 
this is God's right, and so we will show to all who 
want to take it from us." 

Conrad returned in two years, but not as he 
went. He had lost a leg, had received several 
wounds, and was so enfeebled that he could not 
resume his work. He found his Nannerl looking 
pale, and not in the white gown, but in black. 
Hans and Else are both dead. 

"Conrad," says Nannerl, "I have suffered so 
much since you have been away. I dreamt almost 
every night you were dead. Then my father 
became ill and died, and, a month after, mother 


Else followed liim. Conrad, they spoke of you, 
and prayed for you. Mother died so calmly ! I was 
putting her pillows right. She looked so pale, and 
her eyes so dim ! She put up her hands to her 
forehead — she had such pain there ! — and said, 
' Not so tight ; they are putting on a golden 
crown, as Pastor said they would ; but not so 
tight ! ' She said also the * Our Father ' twice, 
and asked for you." 

Nannerl had been always dear and kind, yet 
Conrad thought her never so kind and dear as now. 
So calm, and cheerful, and busy, she did everything 
for everybody ; no one could help loving and 
honouring her. But Nannerl with the children 
was the loveliest sight — how she taught them 
hymns, and told them stories, when the girls were 
knitting and the boys working ! Nannerl, what 
change has come over you ? Never in low spirits 
as before, no murmuring and fretting ; but so 
loving, calm, and active. Nannerl had begun to 
think of the crown, of which mother Els^ had 
spoken. She had begun to think of love — her love 
to Conrad, and where she would meet him in case 
he died. On the God's acre grow lovely flowers ; 
from the thought of death spring life-giving long- 
ings. Then the old hymns and gospel verses of 
her childhood awoke in Nannerl's heart. The Lord 
Jesus, who had stood so close to her all her life, 
stood now before her. She saw Him, and fell 
down, and cried, '' Master ! " 

Conrad had got a small pension from Govern- 


ment, and, as lie could not continue his trade in 
the village, he went to the nearest town, where his 
boys were received into a Government school, till 
they were of age to learn some business. Nannerl 
became a laundress, and earned as much as, with 
Conrad's pension, sufficed for their support. Early 
in the morning Nannerl began her work. At first 
Conrad looked pained to see her undergoing such 

" When I saw you in the garden, Nannerl — " 

" On the Thursday evening, wasn't it ? " 

"You little thought— I little thouo-ht— " But 
his voice failed him. 

Nannerl smiled and said: '*The less we think 
the better ; the blessed God thinks it all for us." 
And so she comforted and cheered him. They 
were happy in their gratis joys, good conscience, 
and children's prattle. Conrad was not able to 
walk much, but now and then they walked to- 
gether. Nannerl was his support and stay. 

'' Nannerl," said he, one evening, '' you are an 
angel. How can you be so happy with such hard 
work ? " 

"Don't speak in this way. Look how healthy 
our children are, and what a fine bold hand Carl 
writes ! — he is already at the letter M ; and little 
Nannette is going to knit something for your 
birthday, but I should not tell you ; and you are 
with me, and God is so kind to us." 

" Nannerl, God be kind to you and my children. 
Teach them your faith." 


'' ' Our faith,' say, Conrad. Are not you also a 
Christian ? You should think oftener of Him who 
came to save us, and of the Heaven he brought us." 

But the drum, the drum, it sounds so loud. 
Neither Nannerl's cries nor the children's voices 
can be heard, for the drum, the drum, it sounds so 
loud ! 

Not unto the battle-field, but the grave. 

Conrad is dying. He never loved Nannerl so 
much as on his death- bed. He had never thought 
so often of Him who brought new life and peace to 
his wife's heart. "Nannerl," he said, "I have been 
thinkinsf of the crown of thorns. That crown 
brought Els^ a golden crown, and I also will be 
crowned. God bless you and our children. Teach 
them our ftiith." 

Conrad is dead. Nannerl weeps, but she can 
rejoice. *' God bless you and our children ! " She 
heard these w^ords continually ; when she awoke at 
nio^ht, when she arose in the mornincf, when the 
Sunday bells rang, when she watched at their 
bedsides. And God did bless her and her children. 
She was so punctual, diligent, and skilful in her 
work, that she never lacked employment. Her 
sweet disposition and kindliness gained her many 
friends, and not a few were drawn to her by a 
deeper sympathy, and recognized in her a fellow- 
pilgrim on the thorny path to the crovvn of glory. 
Her boys grew up in the fear and love of God ; 
filling the evening of her life with peace and 


When I think of her, the grace and dignity of 
her manner, her sweetness and gentleness to her 
children, the words of wisdom and love that came 
from her lips, her industry and unclouded cheerful- 
ness, — "Nannerl, I think you wear the crown 
already. Naunerl, I think you are one of the 
greatest, noblest, human beings I ever saw. 
Nannerl, God dwells in your heart, God delights in 

I say. Her Majesty Nannerl the washerwoman ! 
Of such queens consists heaven. 

In an article on 'The Childhood of Jesus,' in 
the same journal, the scenes were realized, as they 
could scarcely be by one not of the Jewish race. 
The home and development of the child Jesus is 
very real, and the scene at the Temple in Jerusalem 
is vividly described. His picture of Mary is most 
life-like : — 

Mary was a true daughter of Abraham. For 
if Abraham is an eminent type of the character, 
power, and victory of faith, in that he believed and 
hoped against hope, clinging with childlike trust 
and humility to the Word of the Most High, it is 
in vain we seek for a more glorious manifestation 
of Abraham's faith than is present to us in the 
reply which Mary gave to the angelic messenger : 
*' Behold the handmaid of the Lord : be it unto me 
according to thy word." She is a true daughter of 
David. She possessed the royal spirit of adoration 


and joyous praise ; and when we hear her hymn, 
''.My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit 
hath rejoiced in God my Saviour," is it not as if 
all the grand and beautiful chords of David's harp 
were blended together in still sublimer harmony ? 
— as if all the Psalms were concentrated in one 
majestic and glorious Psalm of psalms ? Mary, a 
true daughter of Abraham and David, is the type 
of the poor in spirit, the meek and lowly, who are 
rich and strong in God. In Joseph, Scripture 
teaches us to see the just man delighting himself 
in the law of God, a man perfect and upright, one 
that feared God and eschewed evil, an Israelite 
indeed, in whom there is no guile. May we not 
say that Joseph represented the Old Testament in 
its legal, Mary in its prophetic, aspect ? 

Of the influence of the natural surroundings of 
the home in Nazareth, he says : — 

Jesus, with the eye of love and heavenly purity, 
read in the book of Nature, and looked on men and 
thino^s around Him. He considered the lilies of 
the field, and the fowls of the air ; He watched the 
clouds of heaven, and the red sky of the evening ; 
He saw the sower going forth to sow, and the 
shepherd leading his flock; He beheld the bride- 
groom in his joy, and the widow in her sorrow ; He 
knew the playful mirth of children, and the deal- 
ings of men with their fellows ; He saw nature and 
life, and in all things emblems of spiritual realities 
and heavenly truths ; it became to Him a treasure 
of golden wisdom ; it was to Him nourishment 


and help on His way to the great work which was 
before Him. 

Some of his smaller publications are of special 
interest, bringing out, in short space, a concen- 
trated fullness of instruction, truth, and comfort 
not often to be found in large volumes. We 
may note one or two of these. There was The 
Golden A B C of the Jews, Thoughts on Psalm 
CXIX, which opens with the following interesting 
paragraph : — 

In calling the CXIXth Psalm Tlie Golden 
A B C oj the Jews, Martin Luther reminds us of 
the alphabetical structure, and of the excellence 
and preciousness of this portion of Scripture. This 
psalm is divided into as many equal parts, each 
consisting of eight verses, as there are letters in 
the Hebrew alphabet ; and the first of all the 
verses in every one of these parts commences with 
the same letter. It is probable that the plan was 
devised to assist the memory, especially in com- 
positions consisting of detached maxims or sen- 
tences. It may also be conjectured that in the 
instruction of children, which is so frequently and 
earnestly urged in the law of Moses, the alphabet- 
ical arrangement was chosen to arrest the attention 
and to aid the memory of the young ; for this 
psalm is a manual and companion for life from 
youth to old age. He considered it under different 
headings in The Psalm Alphabetical and Golden. 

He notes its comprehensiveness. " The com- 


prehensiveness of this psalm is very striking. It 
presents to us human life in all its aspects. Every 
age can find here a mirror and a sympathizing 
teacher and interpreter of its deepest thoughts.'' 
Under one of the headings he says : " It is most 
instructive to notice the position assigned in this 
psalm to the Word of God. In the possession of 
Scripture the Psalmist feels independent of human 
teachers and traditions. The Word brings him 
into communion with the mind of God. It con- 
tains Divine wisdom to enlighten and guide, Divine 
promises and consolations to uphold and gladden, 
and Divine precepts and statutes, in keeping of 
which is great peace. It needs no human interpret- 
ation and elaborate comment ; for ' the entrance of 
thy Word giveth light ; it maketli wise the simple.' 
He who reads it diligently is wiser than the teachers 
who teach him in wisdom, and the ancients who 
dilute and corrupt the Word of God Avitli their 
traditions. It is God's Word (as the emphatic and 
constant ' Thy ' shows), and the soul knows this, 
and rests on the rock of Divine authority, strength, 
and love. In order to know, love, and serve God ; 
to rejoice in Him; to be sure of our blessedness; 
to walk in the narrow way, and to keep ourselves 
unspotted from the world — we need nothing but 
God's Word." 

" Here is the true preventative against the leaven 
of traditionalism and of naturalism. 

" Unless we truly believe in the supremacy of 
God's Word, unless we cleave to it with all our 


heart and mind, honouring it above all books by 
constant reading and meditation, we are in danger 
of becoming the servants of men, and of being led 
astray either by the tradition of antiquity or by 
the ever-changing speculations of human reason. 
The Bible, and no devotional books, however ex- 
cellent, ought to be the main reading of Christians ; 
the Bible, and not the evidence of Kevelation, must 
be regarded as the great preservative against un- 
belief, and as the Divine weapon strong to pull down 
the fortress of unbelief." 

A little tractate, Weep not, after speaking of the 
compassion of Jesus as shown in the raising of the 
son of the widow of Nain, proceeds: — " Look upon 
Jesus in the light of the Old Testament revelation 
of Jehovah, and then adore the compassionate Jesus 
as Lord. Dismiss the erroneous impression of the 
severity and gloom of the Old Testament Scripture, 
as if the inexorable justice, the unapproachable 
majesty, the awful sovereignty of God was its ex- 
clusive or even predominant topic. Do not confuse 
the aspect of law, or the dispensation of condem- 
nation and death, with the whole Old Testament 
economy, which is the revelation of Jehovah, pre- 
paring as well as promising the advent of Him, in 
whom we behold and possess the Father. The God 
of Israel is full of mercy and compassion. He who 
appeared unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, mani- 
fested Himself, in most familiar, tender-hearted, 
loving condescension ; in His love He became God 


imto them, and called them His friends ; in His 
mercy and compassion He considered their weakness, 
their trials, and their sorrows. How human is the 
God of the patriarchs and the children of the 
covenant ! — as human as the mem Christ Jesus, the 
centre of the New Testament is divined 

" How deeply Israel was imjDressed with this 
conviction of the royal supremacy of mercy in God, 
we can learn from the confession of the prophet 
Jonah. God sent him to Nineveh, that great city, 
to cry against it, ' for their wickedness is come up 
before Me.' But Jonah was unwilling to go, and 
he himself explains the chief reason of his unwilling- 
ness. ' I pray Thee, Lord, was not this my 
saying, when 1 w^as yet in my country ? Therefore 
I fled before Thee into Tarshish : for I knew that 
Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to 
anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of 
the evil' 

''Jehovah, merciful and compassionate, He who 
condescended to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in 
great loving-kindness chose them to be His friends ; 
He who had pity on Israel in their bondage, and 
redeemed them out of Egypt ; He who led them 
through the wilderness, and was afflicted in all their 
affliction ; He came at last in the person of the 
Divine Son, in Jesus, and now beholds the glory of 
God in the face of Jesus Christ. Here is a full and 
perfect revelation of the God of Israel, of that 
tender, motherly, intense, and inexhaustible compas- 
sion which breathes throughout the Old Testament. 


Here is another explanation of the Old Testament 
anthropomorphism : God became man ; and man, 
originally created in the image of God, is redeemed 
by the man Christ Jesus, who is God above all, 
blessed for ever." 

In one of his Tracts, the following passage on 
'The profitable reading of the Bible' occurs: — 
We do not read the Bible sufficiently in a con- 
nected way. Every verse and expression, no doubt, 
is of importance, and may furnish food for thought 
and prayer. But we ought to read a discourse 
of Christ, or an Epistle of Paul, with the endeavour 
to seize the meaning, aim, and sense of the whole. 
In this sense we ought to treat the Bible like any 
other book, reading it with intelligent interest. 
Without the Spirit of God we cannot discern 
spiritual things. But reverential reading of the 
Bible must include the lower attitude of attention, 
exertion of mind, and earnestness. Take for 
instance the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians. 
When and where was it written ? What do we 
know^ of the Church of Philippi ? What state of 
mind does it reveal in the Apostles ? Eead the 
whole as a whole. What is its aim? Then you 
will learn, and feel, and, breathing a pure atmo- 
sphere, be refreshed and strengthened. This correct 
reading of Scripture ought to go hand-in-hand, 
daily, with a more minute examination of a few 
verses. A single Scripture expression may bring 
light, peace, and guidance. 


The reading of Scripture cannot be urged too 
much, but it may be urged vaguely. The Spirit 
is promised, but one result of the Spirit's influence 
is an honest application of the mind to the Bible. 
If we read in a kind of m.ental paralysis, with 
a very stern feeling of performing a duty which 
somehow or other will benefit us, we misunderstand 
the nature of the Bible. It is given by the Spirit 
to convince, instruct, comfort, guide, and this 
through the understanding, conscience, emotions ; 
therefore we have in the Bible, history, conquest, 
poetry, maxims, suggestions, appeals ; all that is 
within us is exercised by this Word ; and the 
more the Spirit aids us, the more will all our 
mental and moral faculties be brought into activity 
in reading of Scripture. Again I say: Frequent, 
copious, honest reading of the Bible, in dependence 
on the grace of God, who alone giveth the 

Early in the winter of 1863, Dr. Norman 
Macleod ; his brother Donald, Saphir's student 
friend and correspondent ; Saphir, and Fleming 
Stevenson had a delightful tour up the Rhine, 
visiting Kaiserswerth, Elberfeld, and other centres 
of Christian work. An account of it appeared 
in the May number of Good Words of 1863, 
entitled ' Up the Rhine in Winter, by Four 
Travellers,' and signed with the initials N. McL., 
A. S., W. F. S., and D. McL. Saphir greatly 
enjoyed the tour, and wrote a part of the narrative. 




Narrative by Mr. James E. Mathieson — Address in Stafford 
Rooms — Impression on Brownlovv North — Address repeated 
in Hanover Square Eooms — Lord Shaftesbury — This 
address the Basis of Christ and the Scriptures — Action 
as to Hymns — Value as a Teacher. 

WE devote this chapter to a sketch kindly 
forwarded to us by Mr. James E. 
Mathieson, so long at the head of the work at 
Mildmay, who was one of Saphir's most devoted 
and beloved friends. It shows how he was brought 
prominently before the great public of London. 

The revival of 1859-60 was nowhere welcomed 
with greater joy than in the Paddington Branch 
of the Young Men's Christian Association, Stafford 
Eooms, Tichborne Street, where the saintly Henry 
Hull was then superintendent. A blessed work 
of grace was there witnessed and fostered both 
by H. Hull and his successor, C. Eussell Hurditch. 
It was in the year 1864 or 1865 that the latter, 
always on the look-out for some one who would 
help in stimulating the Christian growth of young 
believers, invited Mr. Saphir, at that time a 


minister in Greenwich, to come and give an 
address at an evening meeting ; and a memorable 
address it proved to be. 

Amongst others who listened to it with rapt 
attention was the late Brownlow North, at that 
time in the height of his power as a lay preacher. 
He felt it was too good to be limited to the roomful 
of people who first heard it ; and Saphir agreed 
to re-deliver it, some weeks later, at a meeting 
in Hanover Square Rooms, where good Lord 
Shaftesbury took the chair. He, in like manner, 
was greatly struck by the ability and the con- 
vincing power of the speaker, who drew his 
arguments and illustrations entirely from the 
Bible, with which he displayed a masterly 

This address formed the basis of what is perhaps 
Saphir's ablest and most useful contribution to 
Evangelical literature, CJirist and the Scriptures ; 
a little book which has been circulated in tens of 
thousands, and is to-day more needed for correction 
of unsound views than at any time since it was 
first published. It was the forerunner of many 
other weighty volumes ; but it is the book by 
which he will longest survive as an author. 

The Presbyterian Church in England, like her 
sister Churches in the North, for long years was 
restricted in her public service of praise to the use 
of the Psalms in metrical version. After an internal 
controversy of some years' duration, the use of 
hymns was permitted, and a hymn-book had to be 


compiled under the roof and the genial presidency 
of the late Dr. James Hamilton, of Eegent Square 
Church. The suggestion and the selection of the 
hymns was altogether in the line of Saphir's acute, 
discriminating, and truth-loving mind ; he seemed 
instinctively to reject error or any mis-statement 
of revealed truth. One of the hymns which he 
suggested was that by Dr. H. Bonar : — 

" The Church has waited long 
Her absent Lord to see ; " 

in the first verse of which occurs the words : — 

'' And still in weeds of widowhood 
She weeps a mourner yet." 

The introduction of this hymn was opposed by a 
minister from Lancashire, more noted for the 
vehemence than the validity of his opinions. 
"You will wreck your hymn-book," said he, 
**if you insert hymns like that. The Church is 
not in her widowhood." Saphir quietly replied, 
'* I thought it was the apostate Church which said, 
' I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and shall 
see no sorrow.' " The hymn was rejected, and I 
believe Saphir assisted no more in the endeavour 
to make or to mar the new hymn-book. But in 
this incident was noticeable his love of the thought 
of our Lord's personal appearing. This blessed 
hope of Christ's pre-millenial return gleamed like 
a golden thread throug;h, and coloured with a 
heavenly brilliance, all his teachings. The revival 
already referred to — like all modern revivals — had 


brought this belief of the Apostolic Church into 
new prominence, and had given it a place in 
Christian thought such as it never before has 
occupied since the first Christian age. 

Saphir's proximity to London during his ex- 
tended ministry in the suburb of Greenwich, and 
his occasional preaching in the pulpits of some of 
his co-presbyters in the metropolis, revealed his 
value as a teacher to a gradually increasing number 
of men and women, who loved and appreciated 
the truth as presented in his own masterly fashion. 
He seemed to combine the gentleness and simplicity 
of a child with the firm grasp of a strong man, 
when he dealt with Holy Scripture. No halting or 
hesitating utterance could be detected in his voice 
or manner, as he dwelt upon the deep things of 
God, and lucidly spread out before a hushed 
audience the magnificent truths concerning Jesus 
Christ and God's way of salvation. There was 
none of the obscurity which sometimes passes for 
profundity in his preaching ; very young listeners 
understood his meaning ; experienced believers were 
enriched by his discourse ; anxious souls were com- 
forted ; doubting ones found deliverance. After 
enjoying the privilege of sitting at the feet of this 
master in Israel for a season, other ministrations 
seemed meagre, colourless, weak. He knew and 
handled Old Testament Scripture as perhaps only a 
son of Abraham could. Moses and the Psalmists 
and the Prophets were his familiar friends and 
intimates ; and he clearly perceived that ignorance 


and neglect of the prophetic Word can well account 
both for the hollowness and declension in doctrine 
which characterize these last days. 

Like his great countryman St. Paul, whom he 
resembled in the weakness of his body as well as 
in spiritual insight and might, he shunned not to 
declare to his hearers " the whole counsel of God," 
and his faithfulness found a reward even here ni 
a large circle of attached and appreciative Christian 
friends from every Evangelical branch of the 
Church. He is one of the examples in this age, 
of what will happeji in the next, when fully 
persuaded Jews will carry the gospel into all the 
world with a persuasiveness which no unbelief 
will be able to withstand. 




Its Importance and Originality — Short Survey of its Argu- 
ments — The Second Coming of Christ — Opposition to the 
"Broad Church" Theology— The Lord's Prayer— The 
Future Kingdom. 

THE remarkable address referred to in the 
previous chapter was shortly issued in an 
expanded form under the title of Clirist and the 
Scriptures. The volume produced at once a deep 
impression, and added much to his fame. It is a 
wonderful book in short compass ; it silently 
refutes more perhaps than any other book of recent 
times — usino; the word recent in a laroe sense — 
the scepticism and unbelief of the day. AVe there- 
fore note, at some length, its positions, as it 
brings most clearly out the leading points of his 
theology. It begins with a forcible sentence : — 

" In the volume of the Book it is written of 
Me." Martin Luther asks, " AVhat Book and what 
Person ? " " There is only one Book," is his reply, 
"Scripture; and only one Person — Jesus Christ." 

Its great principle is that " there subsists an 


essential and vital connection " between the eternal 
Word of God and that written AVord " which 
testifies of Him, of His person and work, of His 
sufferings and glory." " It is impossible for us to 
understand the nature of Scripture unless we view 
it in relation to the Son of God, the Messiah of 
Israel, the Eedeemer of God's people ; for He is the 
centre and kernel of the inspired record." 

He notes as a striking peculiarity of our age 
that the attention of thoughtful minds is so pre- 
eminently fixed on Christ. In no age have there 
been so many attempts made to reconstruct, so to 
speak, the history of Jesus. We need not be 
astonished at the strange misconceptions and 
grievous errors into which men fall, who are trying 
to understand Jesus, as they understand other his- 
torical men. He is not even in His humanity 
intelligible, except on the territory of revelation. 
When the beauty of Christ's character, and the 
simplicity and depth of His teaching, attract men's 
minds, they flatter themselves that Jesus is the 
efflorescence of humanity, that history has produced 
Him, that nature is glorified in Him. But Jesus 
is above all, because He is from above. He came 
in the fullness of time, and belonged to Israel ; the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is an 
organic, vital, and necessary connection between 
the Christ and the nation. There is a nation 
different from all nations — the Jews — chosen by 
God that He may reveal Himself to and through 


them ; there is a Man different from all men — the 
Lord from heaven, Jesus the Son of David, the Son 
of God, Messiah of Israel and Head of the Church ; 
and there is a Booh different from all other books — 
the record of God's dealings with Israel, culminating 
in the manifestation of that Eedeemer, whose 
goings forth are from of old, even from everlasting. 
The same Spirit of God convinces us of the 
supremacy of Christ and of the supremacy of 

As the hearts of men are attracted by Jesus 
Christ as the only Prophet, Priest, and King, 
their minds are filled with reverence and love for 
the Scriptures. The Eeformation is based upon 
the two principles : Christ only, Christ above all ; 
and the Scriptures only, the Bible above all human 
authority. Higher than the Bible is not reason, 
not the Church, not the Christian consciousness, 
but the Holy Ghost, who reveals Christ in the 
written Word, so that it becomes to us what it 
truly is, the Word of God, the voice of the 

This is the basis or theology of the book. 

He considers the method in wdiich Christ re- 
garded and treated the Scriptures. He shows 
that Jesus in His general teaching constantly 
made use of the Scriptures, and not only so, 
but that there were concealed allusions to the 
Scriptures through the teaching, as in the Sermon 
on the Mount. "All Christ's thoughts and expres* 


sioDS have been moulded in that wonderful school 
of teaching which God had given to His chosen 
people. From the Inner Circle of His disciples He 
is constantly referriug to the Scriptures as fulfilled 
in Him, as in the i^assage, ' Then He took unto 
Him the twelve, and said unto them. Behold, we 
go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are ivritten 
hy the 2^^'02^hets concerning the Son of Man shall 
he accomplisliecV In the facts 23receding His 
crucifixion, frequent reference is made by Him to 
the fulfilling of Scripture, and after the Eesur- 
rection He said, but ' all things must be fulfilled 
which were written in the law of Moses, and in 
the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me.' 
He opened their understanding, that they might 
understand the Scriptures. And again, in His 
conflicts and prayers. In the Temptation He does 
not appeal to His own feelings ; He does not bring 
forward thoughts and feelings, but the written 
Word. Three times He refers to the Scriptures. 
Even in glory He constantly refers to the Scrip- 
tures. In the Epistles to the seven churches. He 
speaks of the tree of life in the paradise of God ; 
He refers to the history of Israel in the wilderness ; 
He speaks of the manna, of the key of David, 
of the true temple, and of the New Jerusalem. 
' Behold, I stand at the door and knock ' is the 
voice of Jesus from heaven, even as, in the Song 
of Solomon, the bridegroom speaks in the same 
language. One of the last sayings of Christ is the 
most comprehensive as well as concise summary of 


the whole writings of Moses and the Prophets. 
'/ am the I'oot and ojfsjn'ing of David.''' 

He shows that the New Testament cannot be 
intelligently understood, without using the Old 
Testament as a kind of dictionary : — " The thought 
of many is, I can read all about Jesus, much 
better described, more clearly and more fully, 
in the New Testament. I believe this to be 
erroneous, and in part bordering on superstition. 
Take the Gospels : how can we understand them 
without Moses and the Prophets ? The very 
first verse of Matthew is unintelligible : ' The book 
of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of 
David, the Son of Abraham.' AVho is David ? — 
who Abraham ? What meaning is there in this 
genealogy ? " "If Ave want to understand the 
Gospels, the life and teaching of Jesus, we require 
the same preparation as Israel enjoyed." He 
shows how, not only through all the Apostolic 
appeals to the people, but through all the Epistles, 
there is the unfolding of the meaning of the Old 
Testament. " You cannot read the ' New Testa- 
ment ' without using the ' Old ' as a dictionary ; 
and it is a very superficial view that because we 
see the word ' Jesus,' and the word ' Lamb,' and 
the words ' blood ' and ' mercy seat,' we have 
therefore clear and full views, and solid and sub- 
stantial ground of confidence, comfort, and hope. 
Unless we know the meaning which God has 
attached to these words, a meanino* which is ex- 


plained in the history, the types, the institution, 
and the prophecy given to Israel, we do not rest 
on a solid basis, we are not feeding on nourishing 
food, we are not growing by the sincere milk of 
the Word." 

He describes in detail the leading characteristics 
of the Bible first, as to the fall and redemption : — 
" The Sublime Doctrine as to God, the law of God, 
Eedemption. Take a beautiful vase, a masterpiece 
of art, and dash it to the ground, so that it is 
shattered into a hundred pieces. AYho can restore 
it ? Who can unite the fragments, so that the 
harmony of the original will again show forth the 
master's skill and thought ? Yet what is this 
compared to the Fall ? What a redemption ! 
Full pardon of sin, so that our souls are whiter 
than the snow ; condemnation is removed, and 
the kingdom of heaven is opened ; the heart is 
changed, the will set free, the mind enlightened. 
Man never could have conceived this. We can 
only exclaim, ' Oh, the depth of the riches, both of 
the wisdom and knowledge of God ! how unsearch- 
able are His judgments, and His ways past finding 
out ! ' " 

There is next the characteristic of prophecy, 
which he regards as interwoven with the whole 
texture of the Bible : — " The element of prediction 
in Scripture has been lately undervalued, and 
under the specious plea that the moral and 


spiritual, the ethical element in the prophets 
is the chief thing. This is a confusion of ideas. 
All prediction which is scriptural is ethical, or 
rather spiritual, because it refers to the kingdom 
of God, and to the centre — Christ. But the 
spiritual element is intimately connected with 
the fact, the continued manifestations and o^ifts 
of God to His people. That Scripture pre- 
diction is throughout ethical, that it differs from 
all soothsaying, from the foretelling of isolated 
events and incidents to satisfy curiosity ; that it 
is organically connected with the Divine education 
of Israel, full of principles, warning, guidance, and 
encouragement for the people to wdiom it is given, 
ought to be perfectly plain to every reader of the 
Bible. But equally clear it is, that Scripture 
predicts events which none could have foreseen." 
Numerous instances are given of this : as the 
promise to Abram that in his seed all families of 
the earth should be blessed ; the predictions of 
Christ ; His birth as man and yet His Divine 
nature — Immanuel, Wonderful, Counsellor, the 
mighty God, &c. ; His descent from David, so clear 
that no doubt was ever entertained on the subject ; 
the place of His birth ; the time, so that the whole 
nation was waiting for Him when He appeared ; 
the messenger to precede Him ; His character. His 
work. His preaching good tidings unto the meek ; 
His rejection ; His death as the Paschal Lamb ; 
the' minute circumstances connected with His 
death; His resurrection, His ascension, &c. ; the 


outpouring of the Spirit ; the going forth of the 
gospel to the Gentiles. Then what clear predictions 
as to the Jews, their realizing their misery, their 
preservation ! No wonder that the greatest philo- 
sopher of our age (Hegel) felt the Jewish history 
a dark and perplexing enigma. Then the pro- 
phecies as to Babylon and the various lieathen 
nations — all so literally fulfilled. 

He then shows how this Book differs absolutely 
from all other books, as brought out forcibly in 
attempted imitations : — What a contrast with the 
Apocrypha ! What a startling ditference between 
the four Evangelists and the apocryphal Gospels, or 
between the apostolic Epistles and the apostolic 
Fathers. As Neander says : — " There is no gentle 
gradation here, but all at once an abrupt transi- 
tion from one style of language to the other, a 
phenomenon which should lead us to acknowledge 
the fact of a special agency of the Divine Spirit 
in the souls of the Apostles, and of a new 
creative element in the first period. As to the 
apocryphal Gospels, with their childish fiiUacies, it 
is significant that in the Gospel of John (ii.) the 
miracle at Cana is described as the beginning 
of miracles which Jesus did, thus excluding all 
the miracles ascribed by tradition to Christ's 

He notices the wonderful — truly miraculous — 
nianner, in which both sections of the Scriptures 


have been preserved : — " The Jews have carefully 
watched over the letter of their sacred writinofs. 
The most accurate and diligent research has 
availed to discover only trifling variations in 
the manuscripts. This is still more wonderful 
when we consider by whom these writings were 
preserved. The Jews, who reject the Messiah of 
whom Moses and the Prophets testify, preserve the 
very books which prove their unbelief, and convince 
the world of the Divine authority and mission of 
Jesus. And where is there a nation preserving 
carefully a record, which so rej)eatedly and emphati- 
cally declares that they are obstinate, ungrateful, 
and perverse, and which attributes all their excel- 
lences, not to their natural disposition and qualities, 
nor to their energy and merit, but exclusively to 
the mercy and power of God ? " Niebuhr says, " The 
Old Testament stands perfectly alone as an excep- 
tion from the untruth of patriotism. Its truthful- 
ness is the highest in all historical writings. ... I 
must also ascribe to it the most minute accuracy." 
And as to the Church of Rome preserving the 
writings of Evangelists and Apostles, what could 
be more marvellous ? These writings declare that 
Christ hath perfected by one sacrifice them that are 
sanctified ; that salvation is by grace througli faith, 
and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God ; that 
all believers are kings and priests unto God ; that 
there is no mediator between God and man but the 
man Christ Jesus ; that Peter himself savoured of 
the things that are of men, and not of the things 


that are of God, and had, even after Pentecost, to 
be severely rebuked and energetically resisted by 
Paul ; that Mary is told by the Saviour Himself 
not to interfere in the concerns of His Kinodom ; 
that freely we have received, and freely we must 
give ; that men forbidding to marry and command- 
ing to abstain from meat, are the expected false 
teachers ; that in the congregation we are not to 
pray in an unknown tongue ; and that Christians 
are commended for subjecting even the teaching of 
the Apostles to the authority and confirmation of 
the Scripture. " The Jews bear unwilling witness 
to Jesus, and Rome has carefully preserved and 
transcribed her own condemnation." 

The Bible stands alone in its adaptability to 
all nations and all classes of people, and to all 

The resemblance between the person of Christ 
and the Scriptures, in the Divine and perfectly 
human aspects of both, is traced out in the following- 
passages ; also the contrast in method between the 
Scriptures and the creeds are both revelations 
of God ; Jmman and Divine, Jewish and Catholic. 
Jesus, the true, real, humble humanity, was not 
concealed ; on the contrary, in all simplicity, undis- 
guised, unadorned, without an attempt to invest 
Himself in appearance, manner, speech, with any- 
thing imposing or mysterious, Jesus lived, spake, 
and walked as man. So with the Bible. The style 
of the book is human, more especially Oriental. 


Men say, Is not this a human book ? Is it not 
Eastern in language, diction, thought, and imagery ? 
Do we not meet its brothers and sisters, books of 
cosfnate tribes ? The human element, or rather 
aspect, is very prominent. 

The Bible contains poetry, parables, riddles, 
maxims, letters, every variety of human composi- 
tion. But this human character in no way militates 
against its Diviue origin. It was God's gracious 
purpose that the Word should become flesh. Jesus 
was true man and very God. The Bible is in the 
form of a servant, human, yet Divine in its origin, 
truth, and power. 

Jesus was a true Israelite. For this very reason 
is Jesus the man for all men of all nations. The 
Jews wTre chosen to be a nation separate, but in 
order to bless all mankind. The purpose of their 
election is universal. The secret aim of their 
isolation is expansion ; the very joy and glory of 
their destiny is a world-w^ide influence. Jesus as 
the King of the Jews, Jesus as the true Israel, is 
appointed to draw all men, and to rule all men. 
So is the Scripture Jewish and universal — universal 
not in spite of, but in virtue of, its Jewish character. 
Its Jewish character is not a garment in which it 
is accidentally clothed ; it is the body wdiich the 
Spirit, according to God's plan, has prepared. 
Eliminate the Jewish character, and you lose the 
essence. The Paoan and Gentile element has to 
a great extent been the source of error. 


Our theology is far too abstract, unhistorical ; 
looking at doctrines logically instead of in connection 
with the Kingdom and the Church. It is Japhetic, 
not Shemitic ; it is Roman, logical, well- arranged, 
methodized, and scheduled ; not Eastern, according 
to the spirit and method of the Scriptures, which 
breathes in the atmosphere of a living God, who 
visits His people, and is coming again to manifest 
His glory. The Bible is as a living organism. " It 
is a body animated by one Spirit. Who would 
assert that a chapter of names in the book of 
Chronicles is as important and precious as the third 
chapter of St. John's Gospel ? — or that the account 
of Paul's shipwreck is as essential as the account of 
Christ's sufferings ? But what w^e say is, that all 
Scripture is one organism, and that the same 
wisdom and love have formed the wdiole ; and that 
even to every branch, and bough, and leaf, it lives 
and breathes, and is beautiful and very good. And 
the reason why many historical and statistical and 
prophetical portions of Scripture seem to us unim- 
portant and even unnecessary, is because we do not 
sufficiently live in the whole circle of Divine ideas 
and purposes." 

All Divine revelations have Christ not merely 
for their Mediator, but for their centre. We have 
not merely a succession of prophetic announcements 
of His coming. His work, and glory, but in all 
God's dealings with Israel He revealed Himself to 
them in Christ. Abraham beheld the day of Christ ; 


the E,ock that followed Israel through the wilderness 
was Christ. In his love and sympathy, in his 
sufferings and faith, David was a type of the great 
Shepherd-King, even as Solomon prefigured His 
glory and widespread dominion. Through all the 
festivals and sacrifices shone the light of God in 
Christ. That God would descend from heaven to 
earth was impressed on Israel by the constant 
appearance of God as angel or messenger : as iVngel 
of the Covenant, Angel in whom is God's Name, as 
God manifest, whom man can see face to face . . . 
And as Christ's ]3erson was the substance of all 
Jewish history and Scripture, His sufferings were 
continually witnessed to in \vord, type, and 

The question of inspiration he treats very full}', 
and the close connection between the inspiration 
of the Book and the indwelling of the Spirit in the 
hearts of God's people : — 

Some have objected in recent times to the doctrine 
of inspiration on the plea that Scripture itself does 
not assert such a fact. But this is erroneous ; not 
merely does Scripture fully and distinctly assert 
the doctrine, but the whole teaching of Scripture 
indirectly confirms this view\ In most cases, wiiere 
inspiration is doubted, it is based on ignorance of 
what is meant by " The Holy Ghost." It is because 
people do not believe that only the Spirit of God 
can reveal the things of God and Christ to our 
spirit, that they have no firm belief and enlightened 


view as to the Spirit's special work — the Scripture. 
Had a scriptural view of the person and work of 
the Holy Ghost been more powerfully prevalent in 
the Church, not merely in her formularies, but in 
reality and life, there never would have been so 
much occasion given to represent the teaching of 
the Church on the inspiration of Scripture as 
mechanical, " converting men into automata," and 
the whole question would not have assumed such a 
scholastic and metaphysical form. For then the 
living testimony and the written testimony would 
appear both as supernatural and Spirit-breathed. 
The more the supremacy of the Holy Ghost, Divine, 
loving, and present, is acknowledged, the more the 
Bible is fixed in the heart and conscience. But if 
the " Book " is received as the relic and substitute 
of a now absent and inactive Spirit, Bibliolatry 
and Bible -rejection are the necessary results. *'' The 
Spirit of Jehovah, the prophets assert, came upon 
them. It is an influence from without, and from 
above." '' Isaiah's mouth is touched with a live 
coal from oft' the altar." To Jeremiah Jehovah 
saith, " Behold, I have put My word in thy mouth." 
" Ezekiel received and ate the roll God gave him." 
The Lord and the Apostles sometimes mention the 
name of the individual writer, in quoting from the 
Old Testament, but more frequently the words are 
used, "The Scripture saith," or, ^'The Holy Gliost 
saith " : — 

The manner in which the Scripture is quoted 


by our Saviour, the Evangelists, and the Apostles, 
clearly shows that they regarded the men by whom 
the Word was written as the instruments, but the 
Lord, and more especially the Spirit, as the true 
Author of the whole organism of the Jewish record. 
We must distinguish between the inspiration of the 
Prophets and Apostles as men, and their inspiration 
as writers. As ivriters they w^ere perfectly and 
adequately guided by the Holy Ghost ; "as men 
they were eminent, but still on the same level with 
other disciples of Christ." " Peter and Paul believed 
the testimony they received from God, and so do 
we, in believing through their writings, accept a 
Divine testimony." " The quotations of Paul show 
that he regarded the inspiration as extending to 
the very form of expression." Paul derives an 
argument not merely from a word, but from the 
silence of Scripture. The circumstance that Scripture 
does not mention Melchizedek's parentage is in 
Paul's estimation significant ; and thus even as in 
music, not only the notes, but also the pauses are 
according to the mind and plan of the composer, 
and instinct with the life and spirit which breathe 
through the whole, the very omissions of Scripture, 
be they of great mysteries, such as the fall of the 
angels, or of minute details, such as the descent of 
the King of Salem, are not the result of chance, 
but " according to the wisdom of that Eternal 
Spirit who is the true author of the record." 

He shows that there is no inconsistency between 


the idea of the inspiration of Scripture and of the 
individuality and activity of mind of the writers ; 
that there is nothing mechanical, nor were the 
writers amanuenses. 

The most common objection urged against this 
view is, that it is inconsistent with the individuality 
of the writers. But *' both facts are sure and 
apparent." In the writings of the Apostles and 
Prophets we see " the influence of their history, 
character, disposition, and mode of thought. It is 
evident that the Spirit did not destroy mens 
individuality, and that their peculiar history, ex- 
perience, and conformation of mind, formed not an 
obstacle, but a medium." The confusion arises from 
a mistaken view of individuality. Error and sin are 
not essential elements of individuality. A man 
free from error and sin does not thereby lose his 
individuality ; on the contrary, he gains it in the 
fullest sense. God's children alone have individu- 
ality in the highest sense of the word. The saints 
in heaven will have the most marked individuality. 
The Scripture authors, inspired, yet individual and 
free, give us some idea of our future state. The 
inspiration of Scripture is a fact, not a theory. The 
fact is that the Scriptures, though written by men, 
are of God, and that the ideas they unfold are 
clothed in such words as He in His wisdom and 
love intended, so that they may be safely and fully 
received as expressions of His mind, and the 
thoughts which He purposed to convey to us for 
our instruction and Guidance. When such a view 


is described and condemned as mecJianical, there 
is, after all, nothing said and proved. All recognize 
to the fullest extent the individuality and circum- 
stance and intense feelings of the writers that they 
were not amanuenses. In speaking of the style of 
Scripture he says : — " As the ocean is to the river, 
so is the Bible style to that of even the most 
spiritual and profound men. For in the Bible 
everything is viewed from the highest point, and 
according to its true essence and position in the 
history of the Divine economy. In the Bible we 
breathe the atmosphere of eternity." " Scripture 
speaks to man and ' all that is in him ' (Psalm 
ciii. 1), and the inmost and hidden centre, from 
which proceed all thoughts, words, and works." 
"It is homely and confidential. Its tone is Mherly, 
friendly, winning our trust and breathing out love," 
'^ wonderfully comprehensive, and yet very minute 
and personal, uncompromising and stern, and yet 
most considerate and tender." 

Finally he points out the dangers of a lifeless 
orthodoxy : — The mere worship of the letter apart 
from the spirit, as by the Jews who rejected Jesus, 
is Bibliolatry. There has been to a great extent 
" text " preaching, instead of " Word of God " 
preaching. The Bible must be read carefully and 
prayerfully, and the Holy Spirit's power must be 
sought to interpret it to us ; but by the Word, 
and the AVord alone, cometli light. 


Clirist and the Scriptures is the most powerful 
of all the books written by Dr. Saphir, except his 
lectures on The Divine Unity of Scripture, pub- 
lished since his death, which express the same 
views more fully, and treat of a wider range of 
subjects. It was translated into German by Frau- 
lein von Lanzizolle, a lady connected with the 
Prussian Court, and has been much read in Ger- 
many, where it was considered by Delitzsch and 
others that it had been a chief means of producing 
in the German churches, among ministers especially, 
a great revival of religious faith and life. 

The book on the LorcVs Prayer, written also 
during his Greenwich ministry, contains much that 
is original, and gives distinctly his view of the 
future Kingdom of Christ. Of the invocation he 
says :— 

" The invocation contains mysteries. When we 
sav ' Father,' we think of the mystery of the Father 
and His Son Jesus Christ ; we remember the great 
mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh ; 
and we rejoice with thanksgiving in the mystery of 
our new birth by the word of truth. 

" When we say ' our,' we think of the mystery 
of the Church, the body of Christ. 

" When we say ' which art in heaven,' we think 
of the citizenship of the children, whom the world 
knoweth not, and of the inheritance reserved for 
them ; we think of the number which have entered 
within the veil ; and of the sanctuary, where the 
Eternal High Priest is enthroned. ... 


*' The word ' Father ' appeals more directly to 
our faith ; ' our,' to our love ; ' in heaven,' to our 
hope ; — more directly, but not exclusively. And 
bearing this general division in mind, not observhig 
it rigorously, let us consider the filial, the brotherly, 
the heavenly spirit of the believer. . . . 

"Beholding in Jesus the image of the invisible 
God — believing that God is indeed our loving Father, 
let us cultivate a simpler trust, a more loving 
confidence, a more bright and sunny calmness in 
prayer and meditation. Let the word * Father ' 
be to us, not so much the exponent of a scriptural 
and theological dogma, as the utterance of a peace- 
ful and radiant truth." 

The petition — " Thy kingdom come," refers 
primarily and directly to the Messianic Kingdom 
on earth, of which all Scripture testifies. . . . 
The King of this kingdom is the Lord Jesus, 
the Son of David ; the subjects of it are Israel 
and the nations — the chosen people fulfilling the 
mission which, according to the election of God, 
is assigned unto them, of being the medium of 
blessing unto all the nations of the earth ; the 
centre of the kingdom is Jerusalem, and the means 
of its establishment is the coming and the visible 
appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. When we 
pray *'Thy Kingdom come," our true meaning is 
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly ! . . . No doc- 
trine, not even the fundamental doctrine of justifi- 
cation by faith, has assigned to it in the inspired 


Word so large a place as the doctrine of the second 
coming of Christ and His Kingdom. It is not 
confined to a few isolated passages, it is not the 
subject of one or two books of Scripture, but it 
pervades the whole Bible. When we are asked, 
Where is it spoken of ? we are tempted to reply, 
Ask rather, where is it not spoken of ? . . . 

" It is true that much obscurity attaches to 
prophecy as regards detail, and the chronological 
sequence of events. It is also conceded that it 
is very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible, 
to conceive the manner in which predicted events 
will be brought about, and that we can only rest 
by faith in the wisdom and power of God, who will 
surely fulfil His Word, and to whom all things are 
possible. But that the general outline of prophecy 
is vague and indistinct must be emphatically 
denied. The Scripture gives forth no uncertain 
sound as to the great question, Is Jesus to come 
before or after the kingdom of righteousness and 
peace ? No truth is more fully and more clearly 
taught in Scripture than this — that the promises 
given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, renewed to 
David, and confirmed by the Prophets, and finally 
by the Lord Jesus Himself, will yet be fulfilled on 
earth ; that Israel is not merely a type of the 
Church, but has a future before it, in which it will 
have a central position on earth ; and that before 
the final judgment there will be a glorious kingdom 
ushered in by the coming, t\\Q]parousia, of Christ." 


Sapliir never took his theology from creeds 
or formulas, but fresh from the fountain of the 
Scriptures. In all creeds, at least of any length, 
he held that there was much mere human philo- 
sophy, of the period in which they were prepared. 
At the same time, so far from any, the slightest, 
tendency to the vague teaching of many in the 
present day, Saphir's immense knowledge of Scrip- 
ture led him to cleave more closely, and with more 
real power, to the great principles of Christianity — 
the authority of Scripture as from God — the atone- 
ment — the Spirit's power — the Kingdom. The 
Broad Cliurch theology of the day, which is so 
greatly undermining the position of all the Churches, 
is not so much a battle against creeds, though it 
assails their positive statements of doctrine, as 
directly against the authority of Scripture, and 
against the supernatural ; in fact against the 
foundation principles of Christianity. 




Sketch of Mr. aud Mrs. Saphir by Canon McCormick — His 
Health failing — Always Fragile — Leave of Absence for a 
Year — Typhoid Fever in the Engadine — His Influence 
there — Return in 1871 — Resignation of his Charge in 

A DEVOTED friend, the Rev. Canon McCormick, 
now of Hull, who was vicar of a church at 
Greenwich at this time, sends us a vigorous, life- 
like sketch of Saphir and his work — 

Adolph Saphir was most loved by those who 
understood him best. He wanted knowing to be 
thoroughly appreciated ; not that there was any 
ditHculty in deciphering his character. He was 
thoroughly open and transparent, but he was many- 
sided. Though an honest Presbyterian, he was 
broad in his sympathies, and catholic in the truest 
and best sense of the term. This may be accounted 
for by the breadth of his reading. He was remark- 
ably familiar with the theology of tlie Church of 
England, and could quote Pusey as well as Maurice 

or Moule. I sometimes told him that he ought to 



be in the Gliurcli of England l)ecause of its his- 
torical continuity, and because his influence for 
good would be greater and wider ; but he held 
strons: views, adverse to the connection of Church 
and State. I need not enlarge upon those views, 
for this would necessitate some attempt at their 
refutation, from my stand-point. 

It was thought that at one time he was half 
a Plymouth Brother ; nothing could have been 
farther from the truth. He recognized what he 
thought to be good amongst the Brethren, but he 
was opposed to many of their distinctive tenets. 
It might just as well be said that lie was half a 
Ritualist, because he considered that Dr. Pusey 
and his school had got hold of the right end of 
the stick, in speaking of the Church as a spiritual 
kino-dom. llie fact was that his catholic mind 


led him to cull the sweetest and best flowers out 
of every religious garden. 

His real sympathies were with the old Evan- 
gelical school of thought. He was a decided, 
though a moderate, Calvinist, and held that every 
one who understood the election in relation to 
Israel must, as a consequence, be so. But apart 
from what may be termed orthodox lines, he was 
wise, tolerant, just, and often very original. You 
never quite knew where to find him, in some of his 
religious flights. Here he was with Pascal ; then 
with Newman. He was up in the skies with 
Edward Irving, or plodding in metaphysics with 
John Duncan. He had the greatest respect for 


Spurgeoii, and he once said to me, " Spurgeon is a 
genuine article. He is simple, straight, godly ; and 
has not been led astray by any of the modern fads." 

Like many a great man, he drew you out in 
conversation, and polished up your ideas with a 
brilliancy that made you wonder. While he picked 
your brains he taught you himself. There was a 
raciness about his conversations, and sometimes 
his sermons, that was charming and inimitable. 
He had as much fun in him as an Irishman, and at 
times with as lit4:le restraint. On a wet night, 
when his congregation was small, he suddenly 
exclaimed, " My brethren, the early Christians were 
fire-proof" ; and then, after a slight pause, with a 
little significant shrug of the shoulders, he added, 
" The Christians of to-day are not even water- 

Some of his great admirers thought that he 
might have worked harder than he did, and blamed 
his wife for restraining him. My own opinion is 
that she helped to keep him alive. He was a ver}' 
fragile plant, that a rough wind might easily blow 
away. Moreover, his sensibilities were of the finest 
and most delicate order, and he felt the ordinary 
worries and oppositions of life, in an injurious 
manner. He could not shake them otf, as more 
robust natures do. After writing some of his 
sermons he was perfectly prostrate, and remained 
so for hours together. " My difficulty," he told me, 
" does not lie in preparing a sermon, but in getting 
into a right spirit to preach it." 


His real nature was very gentle, and his sym- 
pathy with sufferers very tender. How emotion 
swayed him, if there was the slightest allusion made 
to his only child, taken from him when so young ! 
What he thought of his lost one underlies the many 
references in his sermons to children. The love for 
his wife, so sweet and j^layful, up to the last, was 
delightful to witness. His friendships were alike 
genuine and lasting. He was a John in his love 
for his Master and the whole company of believers, 
because like John he was always laying his head 
upon the Saviour's breast, and listening to the 
beating of His great heart of love for him, and for 
those whom the Father had given to Him. 

Dr. Saphir told me that as a Jewish boy he 
was often troubled with a sense of sin. More than 
once he asked the Eabbi what he was to do, and 
invariably received answer that he w^as to repent 
and amend. " I did repent, and I tried to amend," 
said Saphir, " but I was no better. How could 1 
know when I was forgiven ? How could 1 tell 
when my repentance reached the stage of satis- 
faction '? If we have to turn in upon ourselves to 
find peace of conscience, we never can be happy, 
for we never can find it." 

There had been every encouragement in the 
Greenwich ministry. The church had been twice 
enlarged, and the attendance was overflowing. 
Numbers of devoted friends had gathered around 


him. He had not the mere success of a popular 
preacher, but lie aroused deep love of Scripture 
truth, and sent many to read their Bibles with 
care ; for he threw such an interest around the 
writers and writino^s of both the Old and New 
Testament, that they seemed to have a different 
aspect. His sermons and addresses were listened 
to with rapt interest, and greatly blessed, and 
thousands have retained and will retain the im- 
pression of them to their dying hour. The Jews 
have in recent times produced many able preachers, 
as the Herschells, Edersheim, Schwartz, but none 
who possessed such a masterly power of treating 
the Scriptures connectedly, and showing the 
person of Jesus revealed not only in the 
Gospels, but in the sublime prophecies of old. 
There was a sanctified genius, an intellectual 
clearness, a terseness of expression, a glow of 
spirit which commanded attention and kindled 
enthusiasm. People sat as under a spell, while 
with calmness, yet glowing expression, in his deep 
penetrating voice, with attitude almost unmoved, 
reading as it were on his finger-nails, he expressed 
with such brevity and force the sublime thoughts of 
the Word of God. jMen and women were not only 
interested, but they were edified and built up in the 
faith. Almost any other preaching, though eloquent, 
seemed dull and pointless to those accustomed 
to hang on the words of Saphir. People of all 
churches sathered in to hear him. He was for vears 
at Greenwich, stronger, physically, than ever after- 


wards, and lie was greatly encouraged, not only by 
the numbers attending his ministry, but by the 
conversion of many, and the acknowledged building 
up in the faith of vast numbers. 

His fame had spread, and whenever he appeared 
in London or elsewhere, he attracted large audi- 
ences. But he had not been engaged in this work 
above a few years when his strength began to 
fail. He had been delicate from a child, always 
of feeble frame, his thinking power too great 
for his slender body. And now he was taxed 
Sabbath after Sabbath, and week after week, with a 
variety of services — all of which required thorough 
preparation, for though he did not even use notes 
in the pulpit, he could not speak extempore nor 
vaguely. His speech was always the utterance of 
intense thought. There are popular preachers and 
speakers who can go on without strain, almost ad 
infinitum, whose power consists in j^leasing the 
ear and gratif3dng the fancy, wdiile there is little 
thought. Such speakers can stand almost any 
amount of work, for there is no great effort after all. 
They might speak or preach a dozen times a week, 
and be none the worse. But it is very different v/ith 
the man who cannot speak without close thinking. 
People often fail to recognize the difference, and 
press such men on to illness and death. The 
spirit in Saphir was willing. He was stirred up 
to energy by the blessing resting on his work, 
and thanked God greatly for it. But he could 
not stand the strain, and he never fully regained 


the physical power which he had in those earlier 

During his latter years at Greenwich, after his 
father's death, his mother and his sister Jolianna 
resided near him. He hnd not seen his mother 
for seventeen years previously, and it was a great 
happiness to have them beside him. His sister 
afterw^ards married the Rev. C. A. Schonberger, 
Jewish missionary in Prague, and ]\Irs. Saphir lived 
with her daughter till her death, in 1879. We 
refer to these events in a later chapter. 

About the years 18GS-9 Saphir's health began 
seriously to suffer from the strain of continuous 
work. His constitution was at all times delicate, 
and he alw\ays required to take the utmost care. 
But now there was evident necessity for rest and 
change, and at length near the close of 1870 
he was compelled to go away for a time. His 
conoTeo'ation at Greenwich acted with o-reat kind- 
ness, and waited for him for nearly a year, whilst 
he remained in Switzerland, chiefly in the Enga- 
dine. There he had an attack of gastric fever. 
Writing to a friend whose brother was recovering 
from a severe illness, at a later period, he refers 
to this:— 

''We deeply sympathize with you, my wife especially, 
remembering her anxiety when I had gastric fever in the 
Engadine, of which my remembrance was not so much of 
anxiety, as of an indescribable feeling of an unearthly 
existence, like a disembodied yet captive spirit." 

After his recoverv from this illness he had much 


enjoyment of liis stay in Switzerland, making many 
friends, and frequently preaching. A lady friend 
who met with them at this time writes : — 

" We arrived at Pontresina to find the hotel full. As we 
were hesitating what to do, a carriage drove up, in which 
we were delighted to find Dr. and Mrs. Saphir, who had 
come from Camphu for a day's picnic. They suggested 
that we should join them at Camphu, and we drove there 
at once, and were accommodated with two small rooms in 
the same hotel. We spent three weeks delightfully together. 
The nightly gatherings of friends and acquaintances in Dr. 
Saphir's room are a pleasant memory of bright companion- 
ship, animated conversation, and merry laughter. The Rev. 
E. W. Moore, then of Brunswick Chapel, Berkeley Street, 
and the Rev. G. R. Thornton of St. Barnabas, Kensington, 
were among the visitors. Dr. Saphir had great influence 
in the hotel, and much was made of him. He preached 
before I came, and the church was crowded.'' 

He went to Switzerland in November 1870, and 
returned in October 1871. On resuming his 
ministry, he said, before beginning his sermon : — 
" Dear friends, it is with the greatest gratitude 
I trust that this morning I speak with you 
again in the name of the Lord. Since last T 
was with you I have experienced both the 
severity and the goodness of the Lord ; above 
all His goodness and loving-kindness. God only 
knows what joy I have in speaking to you again 
of Him who is the King, the Truth, and the 
Life ; of the only salvation which in this life 
brings peace to the conscience, and in the world 
to come the immediate beholding of the glory 
of God. During these months that I have been 


away, I have seen much of the goodness and 
continual care of God, entering into the minutest 
details of life, and making every detail an out- 
come of His everlasting love with which He has 
loved us. I have been delivered from serious 
illness, and beyond my own expectation restored, 
so that I am able to take part at least of the 
work that is assigned to me here." 

His stay at Greenwich, after his return, was not 
very long. Though he was still as popular as ever, 
and as much attached to his people, there were 
various influences drawing him away. He himself 
23erhaps felt the need of change, which is often new 
life to a minister, but the chief cause was that, since 
his fame had spread abroad, there had been a 
strong desire, on the part of numbers of readers of 
his works, that he should occupy a more central 
position in London. Great influence was brought 
to bear upon him in this direction, and to the very 
deep regret of his congregation, and . with great 
feeling of sadness, he determined to leave in the 
summer of 1872. 

Mr. Thomas Stone, who was one of the most 
active members of the Greenwich confijreo'ation, 
writes in regard to him : — 

" Dr. Saphir was a simple, childlike man, of great intellect, 
and a most lovable nature. One thing very noticeable in him 
was his deep humility. He was full of Scripture ; and our 
conversation when out on holiday rambling in the woods, 
would usually turn upon the meaning of texts. Dr. Saphir 
would say, I wonder what Paul meant when he wrote so and 
so, — himself always taking the place of the inquirer, seeking 


to be taught, and never teaching. This was due to his 
humility. He was a delightful companion." 

He himself gives a bird's-eye view of this 
Greenwich period : — 

" I was called to St. Mark's English Presbyterian Church, 
Greenwich, in 1861. I held this charge for over eleven years, 
and my labours were accompanied by visible success. The 
church had to be enlarged twice during my ministry, and the 
number of worshippers increased from about a hundred to a 
thousand. During two years this congregation collected £4000 
for enlarging the building. A Sunday-school and classes for 
young men and w^omen were also opened. The congregation 
was very active, and, during the time I ministered there, I 
had the satisfaction of collecting .£20,000 for Christ and 
missionary enterprises. But the work was too much for my 
feeble frame. I preached, on the average, four times a week, 
and the rest of my time was fully occupied by numerous 
pastoral visits, the instruction of intending communicants, 
and by addressing public meetings." 

Greenwich ever after occupied a chief place in 
his affections, and often, in times of depression during 
]iis latter days, did it gladden him to visit again 
the scene of his former ministrv. 




Purchase for him of a large Church at Notting Hill — Money 
obtained easily — Church at once filled — Members of all 
Churches join — His Thursday Lectures attended by 
numerous Clergy and other Persons of Influence — Liberal 
Supporters of the Work — Great activity of the Congrega- 
tion — Call to Scotland — Moody and Sankey's Visit to 

IT had been felt for years by a numlier of Saphir's 
admirers that he ought to be in West London. 
His books, especially Christ and the Scriptures^ 
had brought him into contact with many who 
recognized him as one of the ablest expositors 
and most powerful preachers of the day. A move- 
ment w^as therefore made to get him to the west of 
London. A large church, which had recently been 
built on speculation in Kensington Park Eoad, 
Notting Hill, had come into the market. Many 
persons in the neighbourhood were prepared, it was 
known from a previous movement, to join any 
congregation of which Saphir might become 
minister. Mr. James E. Mathieson took up the 
matter with his usual energ;y and zeal. He had to 


raise nearly £10,000. He personally visited many, 
and was astonished at the heartiness with which 
the appeal was responded to. Many others took 
an active part in collecting, and soon the money 
was raised. 

Saphirs ministry was welcomed from the be- 
oinning by people of all churches, especially by 
earnest Christians. He began his work in the 
autumn of 1872, with services in the Ladbroke 
Hal], as the building which had been purchased 
had to undergo extensive alterations. When the 
church was opened in March 1873, it was soon 
filled to overflowinoj — thous^h it held above 1000. 
Members of the Church of Endand, CouOTeo-ation- 
alists, Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, and others, as 
well as Presbyterians, crowded together to hear this 
son of Israel expound the Word of God. 

It is rumoured that about this time Saphir was 
sounded indirectly as to becoming one of the Court 
Chaplains of the venerable Emperor of Germany. 

One who was long associated with Dr. Saphir, 
l)oth at Greenwich and Notting Hill, writes thus 
in regard to the early Notting Hill period : — 

"When first Dr. Saphir came to Xotting Hill, his church 
was soon thronged with people drawn thither by his ministry 
from all sorts of churches and chapels. Sunday after Sunday 
every seat was filled, and the interest of his hearers never 
abated, however long the discourse. 

" When he began his Thursday morning lectures, the con- 
gregations were also large and appreciative, and they were 
steadily maintained, as long as his health permitted him to 
continue them. The lectures on the Gospel of John (not yet 


published) were especially beautiful, and the remembrance of 
those many happy mornings will long remain. One of Dr. 
Saphir's chief characteristics was his intense simplicity. His 
language, always good and fluent, was generally pure Saxon, 
and this made his addresses to children so attractive and 
interesting. He was peculiarly fond of children, and shone 
most perhaps in his children's services — when some beautiful 
Bible story was filled with life and interest, and eternal 
realities were impressed on their young minds. 

"He was also very full of fun and humoui-, and greatly 
enjoyed an amusing story or a good joke, — and many droll 
things he would say wdth an archness that was quite his own. 
In almost all his letters to me when absent from home, there 
are most droll allusions to things and people, which those who 
knew him less would have scarcely guessed him capable of 
M'riting ! But for sacred and Divine things he had the most 
intense reverence, and anything that savoured of flippancy or 
undue familiarity was to him most repugnant. 

"Almost the last time I saw him we were talking of the 
readiness of Christians to be attracted and distracted by 
sensational methods of w^ork, and meetings, which he w^as 
greatly deploring, when he suddenly looked up and said, 
' Well, what are we all coming to, we Christians ? ' I said, 
* I cannot tell ! ' ' Oh ! ' he replied w^ith his drollest expression, 
' blue ribbon and a tambourine ! that is English Chi-istianity.' 

"But one's memory lingers most over his looiiderful ser- 
mons, that were such unfoldings of the things of God ; the 
inexhaustible mine of wealth he found in a single text. I 
remember six consecutive sermons on the verse, * Unto Him 
that loved us,' &c., and each one seemed fuller than the pre- 
ceding one, of the person and works of Christ, and the glory 
of the Redeemer. Dr. Saphir had, as a Christian Israelite, a 
grasp of Scripture, and of the purposes and mind of God 
revealed therein, quite different to an ordinary Gentile mind. 
To him the Lord's Incarnation and Crucifixion were such a 
revelation of God, as we can hardly understand, who have been 
told the wonderful facts from our infancy. He often wondered 
at people's questions about faith, and whether or not they had 
the right kind, or the right amount; whereas, the One in 


whom to believe, was to him the only necessity for the soul — 
all else was easy and simple. Nothing, I think, distressed or 
depressed him so much as his hearers failing to be instructed, 
or even interested in his sermons, or their seizing on some 
minute point, carping at it, and criticizing something utterly 
unimportant. Every sermon was to him a living organism, 
with its proper parts and proportions ; and to pull it to pieces 
was to destroy its symmetry and beauty, and to strip it of all 
its meaning. 

" With what joy he always welcomed the Lord's Day, and 
rejoiced especially in the remembrance of His death in the 
Lord's Supper ! Some of Dr. Saphir's most heart-stirring and 
touching addresses were those delivered on Communion Sun- 
days ; and the Hoj)e of the Lord's return was one of his most 
soul-refreshing themes. But I must not enlarge on the many 
topics such memories recall. 

"I cannot convey the impression his wonderful expositions 
of Scripture have left on my own heart and mind ; I, amongst 
others, will ever have to thank God for his ministry, while we 
deeply deplore his loss." 

Ill letters to Lady Kiiilocli, be thus describes the 
progress at Nottiiig Hill, after he had been a year 
or two settled there : — 

" We have been busy, and there has been the usual variety 
of bright and gloomy, which must be in every life, and 
perhaps more so in a minister's. But I think we have more 
room foi' thankfulness and hope than in any previous years. 

" We have both been much better this winter, and I have 
been without an assistant, and preaching three times a week. 
The church is progressing well, and I am beginning to feel 
settled. The Scotch call ^ was very unintelligible to English 
people, who think every little congregation a complete little 
kingdom. I should have liked Edinburgh for many reasons. 
But it was not to be. 

^ From St. Luke's Eree Church, Edinburgh, to be colleague 

to Dr. Moody Stewart. 


"Have you seen my Hebrews? I am now going to take a 
long rest from publishing : though I am often asked to 
publish my lectures on the Gospel of John. But it is too 
laborious, and I have too many books out. There is so 
little time for reading. How wonderfully the Pearsall Smith 
movement collapsed ! We need a time of repose in the 
churches, for quiet meditation and study of the dear, simple, 
and wholesome Scriptures. How safe and peaceful it is 
to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd in His Word ! 
I have been very much living the last few weeks on that 
passage, John xiv. 22, 23 : ' We are not of the world, 
even as Christ is not of the world.' It is not a self-made 
separation, but of God, and by the cross of Christ and the 
Spirit of God in us. Oar fears and our knowledge and our 
whole life have a lieavenly origin and character, and the 
end wall be to be glorified together with Christ. If we get 
thoroughly and deeply into these most blessed truths, w^e 
shall have wisdom and strength for all the various circum- 
stances of life. I sometimes feel that I have a very easy 
path in many respects, that is Avitli regard to the world. 
I am very glad of human beings, but not of society, and I 
would have made a very good monk (that is with Sara). 
Also my work, as I view it, does not oblige me to go outside 
it. But I can understand to some extent the difficulties of 
others. Yet I think the path will be made clear to all, 
who are anxious to hold fast the most imjDortant, heavenly, 
end of the cord. I fear these remarks are not definite. 
Enough that it would be too long a subject to write upon. 

" We are going to have our annual meeting in a fortnight, 
and start clear of all debts. About £12,000 have been raised 
in three years. We have some very dear people. Our 
Thursdays are very largely attended, and there are always 
some encouraging cases. The only thing I don't like is the 
amount of business. The heterogeneous character of the 
congregation is perhaps an advantage. I am less ' chm'chy ' 
every day ; but could not be cramped by the Darby standard. 
But it must be very pleasant when circumstances justify 
your joining a small circle of devoted and simple Christians. 

"... We had a charming visit from dear Mr. Stevensoi- 


of Dublin. He is like his book — praying and working, and the 
best specimen going. I am blessed with many good friends." 

He writes again to the same lady : — 

"I trust that long before this you have been freed from 
all anxiety about your brother's recovery, and that Sir K. 
is regaining strength. We sympathized deeply with you. 
What a winter of trouble this has been ! We have seen 
so much that is sad, in our immediate circle here. Dear 
Mr. Wingate lost his eldest daughter under very painful 
circumstances, though the best of all consolations is his, for 
she died in the faith. ... I hope your health and strength 
continue good, and I often pray that you may have much 
inward peace, and that the Lord may remove all that causes 
you anxiety. And yet, as the Germans say, das Hebe Kreuz, 
the dear cross. No doubt our afflictions and trials are signs 
that God has not forgotten us, but is educating us in 
Fatherly love (Heb. xii.). I have felt of late years constantly 
drawn to those passages of Scripture which teach the mystery 
of our fellowship with Christ in suffering, or rather fellowship 
of His suft'erings, and sometimes hope that I am beginning 
really to rejoice in Christ, though I am often ashamed at 
being so depressed and feeling so disappointed. The return 
of the Lord Jesus, and our being glorified together with Him 
(if so be that we suffer with Him), this true and lively hope 
seems to me like a star, which is not seen in the garish light 
of prosperity and a smooth course, but only in the stillness 
of sorrow, or at least of a chastened, crucified condition. I 
think this is one reason why the Church lost this hope, after 
the first ages of martyrdom, and why now-a-days it so often 
degenerates into a mere sentimental speculation, — a pious 

" We hear of scarcely anything else just now but IMoody 
and Sankey. There seems indeed a wonderful amount of 
interest and earnestness in their meetings. I have not yet 
been able to go. My dear friends, Mr. Stone and Mr. 
Mathieson, are the chief promoters of the movement. 

"I have preached lately only once on Sunday, and also 
on Thursday. The church has suffered from my not being 


there on Sunday evenings ; but still it has made good progress. 
1 cannot reconcile myself with the idea ot" an assistant, but 
i fear it is necessary. It makes mo feel very old and 

Ill II letter to the same, written alicr liur serious 
illness, he says : — 

" We felt very sad and anxious whun your kind nolo told 
us how ill you had been, and especially how much surrovv- 
you had come through. We trust you will bOon Ije better ; 
but do dismiss all sad thoughts, and wait (juietly, and after 
these clouds God will send again sunshine. These trials are 
very hard to bear for anxious and affectionate hearts. But 
we possess the sympathy of One who passed through every 
phase of sorrow, and who felt deeply wounded in His spirit 
by every kind of sad experience among men. From Him 
we can not only learn, but obtain grace, to commit all things 
into the hands of our faithful Father, and to keep the heart 
meek and in the attitude of forbearing and forgiving love. 
God will guide and God will justify those who trust in Him 
and walk uprightly. Sooner or later He brings it to light, 
and makes all acknowledge it. I trust and pray that He 
may quiet and comfort your heart and bear you up, renewing 
your strength according to that dear promise (Isaiah xl. 31). 

" I have been dwelling much upon the humanity and 
sympathy of Christ (in connection with Matt. iv. and the 
Epistle to the Hebrews). How comforting it is for us to 
remember that the Saviour had true and real difficulties, 
sorrows, and struggles ; that He also lived by faith ; that 
His tears and prayers were the expression of real grief, 
weakness, and dependence ! Thus is He now as the High 
Priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmity." 

In a letter to another friend, he speaks of a visit 
to Dublin : — 

''I spoke last Sunday evening to Mr. Stevenson's people, 
He is such a dear man, and more dear to me each time I 


218 .4 PlW^PEROUi^ TIME. 

«ee him. We are delighted with the youug people here ; 
and it is a great pleasure to renew friendships." 

He writes to the same friend on the hist day of 
the year : — 

*' We are making good progress, though nothing brilliant. 
Last Sunday we had another children's service. The church 
was crowded in every -^iivi, nearly all children. It was a 
very fine sight. The children behaved beautifully. We had 
another Jewish bajDtism. I am sorry to say the first Jew 
who was influenced by Moody has relapsed into unbelief. 
We are very much grieved, and must continue praying for 
his restoration and conversion. 1 fear there is much super- 
ticial work at meetings, and too great hurry to get people 
to say they have peace; also comforting people who have 
no sorrow or burden." 

Tlie congregation, as it does to this day, con- 
tained a large pro^^ortion of active workers, and 
its influence was soon felt among the poor and 
neglected in the neighbourhood. Dr. Saphir was 
greatly encouraged, but still it Avas evident from 
the beginning that he had not the physical strength 
of his earlier Greenwich ])eriod, and that he was 
not equal to the unremitting labour which many 
of his friends, in their admiration and zeal, expected 
from him. 




Majestic Style of the Epistle — Its Central Idea — The Glory 
of the IS'evv Covenant — Christ and Moses — The High- 
Priesthood of Christ — Alleged Priesthood of the Clergy — 
Pauline Authorship — Lecture on the Divinity of Christ — 
Jewish Difficulties — Personal Testimony. 

WE have referred to the Thursday morniug 
Lectures on Hebrews, delivered in the 
winters of 1873-74 and 1874-75, which were 
attended by numbers of clergymen, professional 
men, and other persons of influence. This was the 
greatest triumph of his career. In these lectures 
he traced out with great power, and often origin- 
ality, the close connection of the Old and the New 
Testament dispensations. We think it right, there- 
fore, as illustrating his method of thinking and 
teaching, to give a rapid glance at the main 

" We arc," he says in the introduction, "attracted 
and riveted by the majestic and Sabbatic style 
of this Epistle. Nowhere in the New Testament 


writings do we meet language of such euphony 
and rhythm. A pecuHar solemnity and anticipation 
of eternity breathes in these pages. The glow 
and flow of language, the stateliness and fullness 
of diction, are but an external manifestation of 
the marvellous depth and glory of spiritual truth 
into which the apostolic author is eager to lead 
his brethren. The Epistle reminds us, in tliis 
respect, of the latter portion of the prophet Isaiah 
— a suggestion, says Dr. Saphir in a note, made by 
Delitzsch, — in which, out of the abundance of an 
enraptured heart, flows such a mighty and beau- 
tiful stream of consoling revelations. In both 
Scriptures we behold the glory which dwelleth in 
Immanuel's land ; we breathe the Sabbatic air of 
Messiah's perfect peace. Both possess the same 
massiveness ; both describe things which are real 
and substantial, the beauty and strength of which 
is eternal ; in both is the same intensity of love, 
and the same comprehensiveness of vision." 

" The central idea of the Epistle is the glory of 
the New Covenant, contrasted with and excelling 
the glory of the old dispensation ; and while this 
idea is developed in a systematic manner, the aim 
of the writer throughout is eminently and directly 
practical. Everywhere his object is exhortation. 
He never loses sight of the dangers and wants of 
his brethren. The application to conscience and 
life is never forgotten. It is rather a sermon than 
an exposition. Thus the writer himself describes 


the aim of his letter, and thus the Apostle Peter, 
writing to the same Hebrew Christians, refers to 
our book when he says, ' iVnd account that the 
long-suffering of our Lord is salvation ; even as our 
beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom 
given unto him, hath written unto you; " 

At the close of the series he has a chapter 
strongly, and we think almost conclusively, deciding 
for the Pauline authorship of the Epistle. 

In his first Lecture he considers that the first 
four verses contain as it were an epitome of the 
whole Epistle. '' Beautiful is the night, in which 
the moon and the stars of prophecy and types are 
shining ; but when the sun rises, then we forget 
the hours of watchful expectancy, and in the calm 
and joyous light of day there is revealed to us the 
reality and substance of the eternal and heavenly 
sanctuary.*' " The Father is the Author of revela- 
tion in both (Old Testament and New). The 
Messiah is the substance and centre of the revela- 
tion in both. The glory of God's Name in a people 
brought nigh unto Him to love Him and to worship 
Him, is the end in the revelation in both. Luther 
compares them to the men carrying the branch 
with the cluster of grapes. They were both bearing 
the same precious fruit ; but one of them saw it not. 
The other saw both the fruit and the man who was 
helping him. Both Old and New Testaments are 
of God ; the New Testament, as the Church-father 
Augustine said, is enfolded in the Old, and the Old 


Testament is enfolded in the New. ' In vetere 
Testamento Novum latet, in Novo vetus patet.' " 
Thus contrasting the messenger of the Old Testa- 
ment with the Messenger of the New, he shows 
what is implied in the description of the latter. 
" It is of the Incarnate Son of God that the Apostle 
speaks ; and showing unto us His glory, he leads 
us, in the first place, to the end of all history ; He 
is appointed the Heir of all things : (2) to the 
beginning of all history ; in Him God made the 
ages : (3) before all history ; He is the brightness 
of His glory, and the express image of His person : 
(4) throughout all history ; He upholdeth all things 
by the word of Plis power." '' Christ is Lord of all. 
The whole universe centres in Him. A star appears 
at the time of Messiah's advent. The sun loses his 
splendour when Jesus Christ dies upon the cross. 
There shall be ag^ain wonders and si mis in the 
heavens when the Son of man shall come in power. 
In the material world we know that there have 
been many and great cycles of development. And 
both science and revelation lead us to look forward 
to a new earth. It is the Lord Jesus who shall 
make all things new, and all developments are 
borne up and moved by the word of His power. 
Oh ! I know that the general conception that the 
world has of Jesus is, that He is Lord of a spiritual 
realm, of thought and sentiment. Bishop and Head 
of ministers and pastors for edifying souls ! But 
the world does not know that He is moving all 
things by the word of His power ; that all politics, 


all statesmanship, all history, all physics, all arts, 
all sciences, everything that is — all that has sub- 
stance, truth, beauty, all things apart from the 
cancer of sin which has attached itself to it, consist 
by Jesus the Son of God." " Sin has brought PTim 
down from heaven. Our defilement has drawn 
Him horn the height of His glory. Oh, what an 
expression ! — what a climax ! ' Who, being the 
brightness of His glory, and the express image of 
His person, and upholding all things by the word 
of His power, when He had by Himself jp?t7;^6c/ oiiv 

He considers the might of the angels, and yet 
Jesus' infinite exaltation above them. " Angels are 
connected not merely with salvation and with the 
spiritual kingdom of God, but with all the kingdom 
of God, with all physical phenomena. There was 
an earthquake at His resurrection. Why ? Because 
angels had rolled away the stone. The Pool of 
Siloam had miraculous power, *for an angel came 
down at certain seasons and troubled the water,' 
and endowed it with healing power. The angels 
carry on every development in nature. God does 
not move and rule the world merely by laws and 
principles, by unconscious and inanimate powers, 
but by living beings full of light and love. His 
angels are like flames of fire ; they have charge 
over the winds, and the earth, and the trees, and 
the sea. Through the angels He carries on the 
oovernment of the world, And these angels whom 


God has made so glorious, who excel in strength, 
hearken to the voice of His commandment, and 
obey Him, while they in worship continually behold 
the countenance of the Father. . . . Now, glorious 
as the angels are, they are in subjection to Jesus as 
man ; for in His human nature God has enthroned 
Him above all things. Their relation to Jesus 
fixes also their relation to us. In a great house 
there may be many servants who are honoured, 
trusted, and lieloved ; ])ut the position of the little 
child who is the heir is different, though as yet he 
is inferior in knowledge, strength, and attainments." 

In the second section of the Epistle, extending 
from the beginning of the third chapter to the 
fourteenth verse of the fourth chapter, Christ the 
Lord is contrasted with Moses the servant. In 
many respects Moses was a type of Jesus. Both 
were threatened as infants by cruel rulers, and both 
were marvellously sheltered by the living God. 
Moses was the mediator, and spoke with God face 
to face. He revealed the covenant of God with 
Israel. But Jesus was the builder of the house ; 
the preparer even of Moses for his mission and 

The third section of the Epistle, extending from 
the fifth chapter to the thirty-ninth verse of the 
tenth chapter, sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
High Priest of the everlasting covenant, greater 
than the Aaronic priesthood. We note one or two 


passages of special interest. Speaking of the 
verses which have often caused much difficulty and 
anxiety, — " It is impossible for those who were once 
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, 
and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and 
have tasted the good Word of Grod, and the powers 
of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to 
renew them again to repentance," — he says in a 
note: — ''This warning does not refer to isolated 
sins, but to a protracted and habitual condition of 
mind, and to neglect and disbelief of truths once 
recognized and confessed ; and it places before us the 
result of a series of unfaithful and wilful rejections 
of spiritual influences and privileges. Many humble 
and timid Christians have misunderstood the whole 
scope and purport of this passage. He who judges 
himself is not judged. The man who fears always 
is safe, because he trusts in the living God and 
Saviour. But, as we know from Scripture, and, 
alas ! also from experience, there are some who 
appear to the Church to be zealous and true 
Christians, and who yet have not received the 
Word in a good heart, and by and by fall away. 
Such men are in a most deplorable condition. 
Their antipathy to truths once known and professed 
is very great, and different from the apathy of the 
worldly ; theirs is a bitter and subtle hostility. 
Yet even their case should not be received by us 
as hopeless ; but we should pray for them, that 
God may give unto them true repentance and 
living faith. The wilful and conscious rejection of 


the testimony of the Holy Ghost is another subject, 
and not spoken of in this passage." " The Apostle 
dealt only with appearances and impulses, and not 
the spiritual life, and does not teach the possibility 
of falling away from the faith." 

In commenting on the tenth chapter, he refers to 
the alleged priesthood of the clergy and priestly cere- 
monies. " While the temple stood, Jesus and the 
Apostles honoured the temple. The Lord said unto 
the leper, ' Show thyself unto the priest.' He and 
His Apostles went daily into the temple. Aftei" 
His resurrection, and while the gospel was being 
preached to Israel, the temple services and ordin- 
ances may have been blessed to souls, as images 
and prophecies of the heavenly realities. But any 
imitation of the Levitical dispensation in the present 
day must needs be contrary to God's mind, and 
obscure the clear revelation in Christ Jesus. The 
expression ' priest,' in the sense of Upsdg^ applied to 
a Christian minister, can in no wise be defended. 
The expression ' consecration,' as applied to build- 
ings, ought also to be given up, and with the 
expression every remnant of the old leaven, which 
attaches some kind of sanctity to any place. Sacred 
places there are none now. We never read of the 
Apostolic Christians going to Bethlehem, when^ 
Jesus was born ; or to Golgotha, where He died ; 
or to the garden, where He rose ; or the ]\Iount 
of Olives, where He ascended ; or to the temple 
chamber in which the Pentecostal oift was received. 

' Where two or three are gathered together ' — there, 
because and wher/ they are gathered together in 
the Name of Jesus ; wherever we worship in spirit 
and truth, there and then we may say. How dread- 
ful is this place ! This view does not in the least 
affect the necessity and desirability of having 
spacious, suitable, and attractive buildings set apart 
for the meeting of God's people, and the preaching 
of the gospel. Here is a proper field for Christian 
liberality, and also for architectural skill. How 
much inclined are men to welcome everything 
which does not reveal to them their true condition, 
and bring them into the very presence of God ! 
Priesthood, vestments, consecrated buildings, sym- 
bols, and observances, all place Christ at a great 
distance, and cover the true sinful and guilty state 
of the heart, wdiich has not been brought nigh by 
the Blood of Christ." 

We have noticed the discussion of the Pauline 
authorship of the Hebrews. We may again refer 
to it. In summing up the arguments, he notes that 
the only ancient tradition points to the Apostle 
Paul as the writer. The presumption is strongly 
in favour of the Apostle when we remember his 
great love to Israel, his profound knowledge of the 
Scriptures, his power of adaptation to be a Jew to 
Jews. Then another likely author has been sug- 
gested — Appllos ; and Luke has been also suggested. 
But there is a fervour and force, a sustained energy 
both of thought and feeling in the Epistle, which 


we do not find anywhere but in the writings of 
Paul. Then there are the earnest and affectionate 
exhortations, with whicli he interrupts his argument, 
as if he could not restrain his yearning and anxious 
love. There are many expressions peculiar to Paul, 
and the view of Christ — the very opening verses 
on the glory of the Son, for instance — bears a 
most striking resemblance to many passages in the 
Pauline Epistles. If we look at the concluding 
chapter, the personal messages and requests can only 
be attributed to Paul. Stier asked justly: Who 
but Paul could write thus to Jewish Christians, 
without giving his name, and yet pre-supposing 
both their acquaintance and brotherly relation, so 
as to ask their intercession, and also some suspicion 
and hesitation, against which he thinks it necessary 
to appeal to his conscience ? Only Paul could write 
thus about " brother Timothy " as his companion 
and assistant. Though the question is still much 
disputed, the internal arguments seem to be over- 
whelming in favour of the authorship of Paul, 
which is in accordance with the chief historic 

There is one lecture, delivered at this period, in 
1874, which we think must be noticed, as it contains 
much that is original and powerful, on the all- 
important subject of our Lord's Divinity. It was 
the first of a series of four, given by different 
lecturers, to the students of the English Presbyterian 
College. Asa Jew, Dr. Saphir throws himself into 


the very period and circumstances of his fathers at 
the advent of Christ, and shows how difficult it 
would have been to declare such a doctrine, how 
impossible to suggest it, except revealed from 
heaven — and yet it was the centre of all apostolic 

x4t no time, he says, could it have been more 
difficult to declare the doctrine of the Divinity of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, than at the time wdien it was 
proclaimed with greatest earnestness and intensity 
in the days of the Apostles. Think of the Jews to 
whom they preached that Jesus is God. Eemember 
that of all the commandments which God Himself 
gave unto His people upon Mount Sinai, and which 
He afterwards con finned by the mouth of His 
prophets, there was none that was so distinct and 
clear and emphatic as that second commandment. 
" But to whom will ye liken Me 1 My glory will I 
not give to another," were the frequent exclamations 
of God by the mouth of the prophets. How 
strange then must it have appeared, first unto the 
Jews, to hear Peter and Paul, and all the Apostles 
who were their brethren according to the flesh, 
saying that Jesus of Nazareth w^as Jehovah, Lord ; 
that unto Him was given all power in heaven and on 
earth ; that every knee must bow before Him, and 
that every tongue must confess that He is above 
all, Lord ; that He is God blessed for ever. 

The Apostles always spoke of Jesus as Ku^^o^, 
w hicli was quite equivalent to Jehovah in the Old 


Testament. Only think of such applications of Old 
Testament words to Jesus as we find in Hebrews 
i. 1 : "Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever; 
a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy 
kingdom." And : '' Thou, Lord, in the beginning, 
hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the 
heavens are the work of Thy hands." Then with 
regard to the idolaters who worshipped many gods, 
and spoke of many '' sons of God," how easily 
might the apostolic declaration of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost, have been misunderstood 
by them as Tritheism. Notice how with this 
twofold difficulty besetting them, the Apostles 
speak of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus so 
constantly, so freely, so spontaneously ; notice 
the perfect ease, consistency, and joyousness 
with which this fundamental fact is constantly 
alluded to, pre-supjjosed, announced. And as they 
believed that Jesus was God, and that not although, 
but because they were Jews, so they declared the 
Divinity of Jesus as the only real remedy by wdiich 
idolatry could be eradicated. For Jesus is the 
image of the invisible God. He is the true life, 
and eternal life. When we adore Him, we keep 
ourselves from idols. Hence all are idolaters who 
do not w^orship God in the face of Jesus Christ ; no 
man cometh unto the Father but by Him. 

The Evangelists and Apostles teach clearly the 
real, true, and perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus. 
. . . But when Scripture reminds of His humanit}', 


it brings always before us His Divinity also. " He 
look upon Him the form of a servant. But in taking- 
upon Him the form of a servant He iiumblecl Him- 
self." He learned obedience by the things that He 
suffered ; but it is added, " though He were a 
Son." The Apostle dwells upon His poverty ; but, 
" though He was rich, yet, for your sakes He 
Ijecame poor." He was the Sou of man; but in 
this very expression is implied that He was much 
more than man ; and this is also manifest from the 
question, " Whom do men say that I, the Son of 
man, am ? ' 

In the weakness and lowliness of His humanity, 
we behold always His Divine majesty and glory. 
True, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and like 
any other babe depended on the love of His 
mother, and upon the guardianship of Joseph, her 
husband ; but a multitude of angels came down 
from heaven, and declare, not that a babe, but that 
Christ the Lord (Jehovah) is born ; and as all 
nature is obedient unto the Word, the star directs 
the wise men from the East to Bethlehem, and they 
fall down and worship the child, and are not guilty 
of idolatry, for the child is none other than " the 
mighty God, the Prince of Peace." ^' The AVord 
was made flesh." 

True, He grew in stature and in wisdom, like 
any other child ; and when He was twelve years 
old. His parents took Him unto the feast in 
Jerusalem. But the boy is God ; not that He 
gradually develops into God ; but He who was 


God, and always must be God, became man, par- 
taker of flesh and blood, in all things like unto us. 
He says, " How is it that ye have sought Me ? Must 
I not be in the things of My Father ? " making 
a wonderful distinction between Himself and the 
most devoted of God-fearing Israelites. . . . 

As men we see Him in the ship, laying His head 
upon the pillow, for He was tired and overcome 
with sleep ; but He is God ; He arises and rebukes 
the storm ; He is that Divine One of whom the 
prophet had written in the Book of Proverbs, that 
all the wind and waves are in His omnipotent 

It is true He is man, and lives by faith, and 
prayer unto God, and performs His very miracles 
simply because He depends upon the Father ; but 
He is God, for no creative being ever prayed unto 
the Father as He prayed, "Father, I will;" and 
no created angel ever was able to say, " My Father 
worketh, and I also work ; " and no prophet or 
angel was ever sent to show forth their oivn glory, 
that men might believe in Him. ... On the Cross 
He opens the kingdom of heaven to the penitent thief 
in the words of Divine power and love : '^ Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, to-day slialt thou be with 
Me in Paradise." Behold His Divinity in His 
lowliness and humiliation ; from the manger of 
Bethlehem to Golgotha, He is God. 

The Lord Jesus, he notes, speaks throughout of 
Himself as Jehovah, God manifest. Look at the 


position He takes respecting the Scriptures. '' Think 
not," He says, "that I am come to destroy the law 
and the prophets ; I am not come to destroy, but 
to fulfil." Only fancy any human being uttering 
such expressions, and that in the midst of the 
Jewish people ! What man or angel could either 
destroy or fulfil the law or the prophets ? " / am 
come.'' That expression alone would convey to 
the Jews that He was the Great Redeemer and 
Deliverer. " Blessed is Ho that cometh in the 
name of the Lord." 

But He puts Himself as the Lord and Master 
of Moses and the Prophets. The whole Scripture 
was to be fulfilled in Him. Moses wrote of Him. 
Is not the Scripture the Revelation of God ? Did 
not Moses write of Jehovah ? Were not the proj)hets 
sent to declare Jehovah ? What man or angel can 
say, the Scriptures testify of him, centre in him, 
and are fulfilled in him ? Who is this Lord of 
Scripture unless it be Jehovah ? 

He speaks of Himself as the Son of Abraham ; 
but He says also, '' Before Abraham was, I am.'' He 
speaks not as if it were His glory to be descended 
from Abraham, but His words show that it was 
Abraham's glory that Jesus was descended from 
him, even as it was his joy to behold Christ's day. 
He calls Himself the Son of David, but He asks, 
" How is it then that David in the Spirit calls Him 
Lord ? " 

He shows how Jesus takes to Himself the pre- 



rogatives of Jehovah, of forgiving sins ; of supply- 
ing the living water ; of pouring out the Spirit or 
baptizing with the Holy Ghost ; of being the Bride- 
groom of the Church. There is also His command, 
that He Himself is to be loved above all others, 
father or mother, wife or child, as Jehovah claimed 
in the Old Testament. If we give what He asks, 
we give all that is demanded of God, and God will 
not give His glory to another. He prepared to 
offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of men, 
most clearly foretelling it, and suffering as an 
atoning Sacrifice. He is the Lamb of God, God 
of God, the Son of the Father, clinging with perfect 
faith unto God, and acknowledging the righteous- 
ness and justice of His holy written law ; clinging 
with perfect love to us, for whose salvation He had 
come to die on the accursed tree. 

Dr. Saphir concluded his lecture with this very 
touching personal testimony : — Perhaps none of 
you know from experience what it is to live without 
the knowledge of the Incarnation ; what it is to 
endeavour to realize the incomprehensible, infinite 
God, without the light and comfort of the Mediator, 
and how joyous and self-evidencing is the peaceful 
brightness when Jesus is 'revealed as the Son of 
God, declaring the Father. I was brought up in 
my childhood in the synagogue, and was taught 
that there was one God, infinite, incomprehensible, 
holy Spirit ; high above us and omnipresent. Much 
stress was laid on the unity and unicity of God, 


But this bare, vague, and abstract Monotheism 
leaves the mind in darkness, while the heart is 
chilly and desolate. There was another and a 
better current which then influenced me. It was 
the national history, as recorded in the books of 
Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and com- 
memorated in the festivals. There I was met 
by no abstract idea of unicity, but by a loving 
God, who appeared unto Abraham and spoke to 
him ; who led Israel through the wilderness and 
dwelt among them ; and after, when I thought of 
the friendly, kind, concrete, and human way in 
which the Lord God then appeared unto His 
people and dwelt with them, I wondered why He 
was not now with us, known, loved, and followed. 

One day I was looking at some books, and the 
title of one arrested my eye. It was Die Mensch- 
tverdung Gottes — God becoming man. The thought 
went through my mind like a flash of lightniug ; 
it thrilled my soul with a most joyous solemnity. 
" Oh," I said, '' this would be the most beautiful 
thinfr, if God were to become man and visit us ! " 
Not many years after I heard about Jesus, and 
read the Gospels. I felt here the same presence, 
the same loving, condescending, redeeming, and 
sanctifying God, that appeared unto the Fathers. 
I felt that here was Jehovah ; that all darkness 
had disappeared, and that the grand but incon- 
ceivable glory here shone upon us in the perfect, 
peaceful, and holy countenance of the man Christ 
Jesus. Peniel ! I have seen God face to face, and 


iny life is preserved. . . . To believe in Jesus, the 
Sou of God, is not an abstract dogma, or a theo- 
sopliic speculation, but a soul-experience, a new 
heart-life. It is the mystery of godliness. May 
the result of all we learn and experience on earth 
]>e summed up in this : By God's spirit I believe 
that Jesus is the Son of God, who loved me, and 
ofave Himself for me. 




Comfort ill Bereavement — The Church, what it is, and Baptism 
— Princess Alice's Death — Church Order — Apostolic Suc- 
cession — Faith without a Knowledge of the Spirit's Work 
— The Fall and Redemption necessarily connected — The 
Future Punishment Controversy — The Present State of 
the Churches — Broad Churchism — "The Catholic Apostolic 
Church" — Crucified with Christ — A Vicarious Atonement 
— Schleiermacher — Separation from the World — The Lord's 
Day — Perfectionism — A Free Gospel and Election — The 
Connection of the Present and Future Lives — " The Higher 
Life" — Dr. Keith's Last Days — German Translations of 
the Bible — Influence of Trial. 

WE now give a number of letters, many of them 
on leading questions of religious interest. 
They were chiefly written to a lady who, by her 
position in society, came into contact with great 
varieties of opinion, and who often wrote to Dr. 
Saphir, to consult him, in perplexity. She does not 
wish to give her name, but to note that they were 
written to one "to whom his teaching was greatly 
blessed." In placing them at our disposal, she 
writes : — 

" How gently and patiently he taught me for years, these 
letters clearly show forth ! I went through so many mists, 
and he seemed sent to pilot me through. T can never thank 
God enough for this." 


It has been impossible, in many cases, to ascertain 
the precise dates, but almost all given in this 
chapter were written during the later Notting Hill 
period, a few of them perhaps afterwards. The 
dates, however, when they deal with general ques- 
tions are not so important. Dr. Saphir had a habit 
of only putting the day of the month on his letters, 
and not the year, and when the envelopes have not 
been preserved, it is frequently impossible to 
ascertain the year. 

The first few letters given relate to the very 
sudden death of a beloved mother. One is dated 
May 26, 1878 :— 

" It was only after the Morning Service that I heard of your 
sad bereavement. Mr. Topping had heard of it, but was afraid 
to tell me, as he feared it would upset me, as he knew I was 
hardly able to preach this morning. 

"I do not like to intrude on you in your great sorrow, but 
I cannot refrain from expressing my deep sympathy with you 
in your sudden grief, and my earnest hope that you and all 
yours will be mercifully sustained and consoled in this deep 
aflaiction. May the love of our Heavenly Father and the 
sympathy of our great High Priest and Saviour be very near 
and precious to you ! . . . You will have all needful grace 
and strength, and the Lord will keep you and bless you." 

Another letter, dated June 7, 1878, refers to the 
same loss : — 

'' You have been in our thoughts all this week, and we 
trust that you have been upheld and comforted all these 
solemn and sorrowful days. They also are included in the all 
days in which Jesus has promised to be with us (Matt, xxviii.). 
I was so glad Dean Stanley chose John xiv,, our Saviour's 
words, these are so simple ; and when Ave need strong con- 


solation we long for the greatest simplicity. 'My Father's 
House ' — ' I go to prepare a place for you ' — ' I will come 
again.' If we can hear this, and in the loving Voice of our 
Lord, our hearts will cease being troubled. 

" You must not wonder, if after the excitement and activity 
of the last days you will feel now, more than you have yet 
done, the loss, and realize the blank. The Christian does not 
attempt to force himself into strength, but leans with his 
weakness and in his sorrow on the compassionate Lord, who 
can perfectly sympathize with us. To His grace I commend 
you. His Spirit will sanctify and bless this sad experience 
to you, and through it lead you to greater strength and 

" Your kind and encoui'aging words were very precious to 
us. I often feel discouraged at not seeing more results of my 
w^ork ; but I believe I am not sufficiently aware how little I 
deserve to be of any use, and instead of being discontented, 
I ought to be thankful. I was so glad my friend Herschell 
took up the subject of the Second Advent. He is a very godly 
man, and takes his theology straight from the Bible and 
experience. This is no doubt the best way. Do you not feel 
in some men's teaching an absence of the Cistern's taste and 
of the directness of a Fountain 1 I often wish I could forget 
more all the present day controversies. The very way the 
questions are put is already a departure from the simplicity of 
the gospel. But we must adhere to the sweet old story. 

"... We came out to Richmond for a few days. I feel 
a little better, but the sense of utter inability to work has not 
quite left me. It is very refreshing to ,see the trees, and to 
feel there is something outside, and may I say above, London ! 
" I have not been able to read the Assembly's discussions. 
They seem to have been on the whole very calm and kindly. 
I am afraid my friend Dr. MacLeod takes too mundane a 
view of the 'parish.' How difficult it would be to explain 
to the Apostle Paul what is meant by the ' parish,' in the sense 
in which the modern Scotch ministers use it. But I must not 
broach my radical views. . . I am very sorry that you will 
be away so long. I never like a member of my church 
very much, but they either go a\\ay or become Darbyite.*' 


ill another leiler he says : — 

"I must write a line to tell you how deeply aud keenly 
1 felt yesterday in sympathy with all bereaved ones. Just 
before the service, I got a letter announcing the sudden death 
of my wife's life-long friend, Judge Lawson's sister-in-law. 
1 did not tell her, as she wished to go to church, and I knew 
it w^ould upset her. 

"This has been a very sad year. But we must remember, 
that the same Love, which suns the bright year, suns also the 
year of evil." 

In another letter he says : — 

" I su2:)pose you have seen a little volume of gems from the 
late Dr. Ker's note-book. It seemed to me very good and 


in a letter written on December 23, 1878, he 
refers to the teaching of Scripture as to the Church 
and Baptism, regarding whicli his corresjjondent 
had written to him : — 

"First, Scripture. I wish you would put aside the (juestiou 
of the * Church ' and of * Baptism.' If you read (without com- 
ment) the Acts, the Pastoral Epistles, aud the First Epistle to 
the Corinthians, you will see how God quietly guided the 
Apostles to make appointments as necessity arose, and accord- 
ing to the synagogue form, and how the ministry {cmkovlo), 
for the benefit of the Church in teaching, ruling, feeding, must 
always virtually be the same. The outward order is good ; 
the call is from God, and the power by the Spirit. The laying 
on of hands and prayer, doubtless a real blessing, but not by 
virtue of any official succession, or in order to give the ' order ' 
' authority.' Not even the Apostles sought to enforce authority, 
but commended themselves and the truth to the conscience. 
The Lord says to Peter, 'Feed My sheep.' But He does not 
say to the sheep, ' Obey Peter.' When we come in the Name 


of Christ as His ambassadors, the Lord inclines the hearts 
to receive us. 

"^ Second, as to ' Church.' The Church is an abstraction. 
All saints that ever lived, and still live, are the Church. The 
Church is yet in the future, at Christ's coming. Now there 
are only churches. As for the assumption that Komanists, 
Anglicans, and Greeks are the only thiee Churches, it has no 
►Scriptural foundation whatever. Where there is an organized 
brotherhood of Believers we recognize a Church. This includes 
Individualists, like the Independents, and corporate churches, 
like the Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans. Of course 
some are more scriptural and fully developed than others. 
State churches contain churches, but are not churches. But 
this last sentence would require explanation. It was held by 
Luther, and I think him a host in himself. 

" Third, Baptism. Do not trouble yourself what Baptism is 
to those who do not believe. Rather look to what it is to the 
Believer. Only you must not apply what is said in the New 
Testament of Baptism directly to infants. For in the New 
Testament the believers were baptized, and in Baptism were 
fully brought into the Church, and possession of the Church- 
Spirit. But all covenant blessings are sealed in Baptism to 
believers, whether they were baptized as infants or otherwise. 

" But now I must write no more theology. Let us dwell in 
the great and clear truths, and may we be daily experiencing 
the grace of Christ, which is sufficient for us I " 

PKINCE8S Alice's death, &c. 

'• We were all full of sorrow when the tidings of Princess 
Alice's death came. It was very sad, and the coincidence of 
the death in one sense deepened the sorrow. But it is delightful 
to know that ' to die was gain.' 

" I am very sad about dear Germany. So few believers ; and 
the youDg poisoned systematically. No doubt the apostasy of 
Christendom is advancing rapidly. Tliey deny both the Father 
and the Son. We have much in this country to mourn over, 
tliough, thank God, there is a stronger band of believers. 

'• We had a splendid case of a young Ilabbi from Strasburg. 


He went to refute the missionary, but he admitted he had 
never read the New Testament. He went home, read, and 
was convinced at oyice. He has made considerable sacrifices. 
I am greatly pleased with him. He is now studying theology 
in Edinburgh. 

" I have just received the Magyar translation of one of my 
books. The Free Church missionaries are doing much for the 
circulation of Scripture and books in Hungary, and among the 


Writing on Monday, July 14, 1879, be says, 
speaking of Church Order : — 

" I cannot go a step higher than I did yesterday morning. 
It is my maximum ! — and pitched to the highest to counter- 
balance the Plymouthists. The apostolic succession theory, as 
held by Komanists and Anglicans, I discard, except that I 
believe (in Providence) there has been an uninterrupted series 
of ordained Presbyters. Of course the ordained ones can 
ordain, and even Episcopal ordination is by the Bishop and 
Presbyters. The Church of Rome theory is quite mechanical, 
and contrary to the New Testament, and the Anglican theory 
is very little better. No ! Presbyters ordain : if they chose to 
have bishops as superintendents I have no objection. But as 
you say, it is a long subject. Both Irvingism and Anglicanism 
I do hope you will utterly and radically give up. The former, 
I fear, is a delusion of the subtle adversary, and the latter 
does not keep strictly to Scripture. 

" Read in the Confession of Faith Directory about ministers. 
It is very good. The Elders of the present day are somewhat 
ill-defined creatures. If new exigencies demand new ofiicers, 
I hold we have the highest right to ordain men for them, by 
laying on of hands." 


Writing on the passage in Acts xix. where those 


who had been baptized by John are stated to have 
been baptized into Christ, after they had expressed 
faith in Him, he says : — 

"The passage in Acts xix. does not present the difficulty 
you find in it. The disciples mentioned there had not been fully 
instructed, and had only received the preparatory baptism of 
John. But we may have true faith, given by God's Spirit, 
without a knowledge of the Spirit's work. This we see in 
children ; and by most Christians the doctrine of the Spirit is 
understood at a much later stage. They first simply trust in 
Christ, without being conscious that this is the work of the 
Holy Ghost in them. It is very fortunate that, as Goethe 
says, we can enjoy a good house without being architects or 
understanding the principles of architecture. It seems that 
in the apostolic age certain spiritual gifts, manifestations, and 
powers followed hajjtism, which, in the case of adult believers, I 
can Cjuite understand. But, as I think I once told you, the 
application to infant baptism of what is stated in the Epistles 
of believers' baptism is most unwarranted." 


In another letter, speaking of the Fall, he says : — 

" I must answer your questions about Adam. It is strange 
that the Bible is not taken up as a whole, one great organized 
structure, God-given, and each part connected with the rest. 
For this reason people think they can cut off a doctrine, a 
narrative, a miracle, as you cut oif a piece of cloth, without 
hurting the rest. Now the whole Bible and Christianity fall 
to pieces without Genesis i. to iii. If there is no Adam, root 
and representative of the whole race, there is no Christ : 
Bomans v. and 1 Corinthians xv. fall at once. The unity of 
the human race in the One Blood (Acts xvii. 26) is not merely 
a fact, but a necessary fact, as the redemption through Christ 
is its great counterpart. But our Lord Himself believed 
Genesis i. to iii. literally, as His frequent references shoNV. 


*•' Besides, what is it an allegory of ? If there was no first 
man, created by God in His Image, what is symbolized by this 
story? If there was, it is a narrative of a fact, and of the 
most important and su])lime nature. How rational is this 
narrative in all its detail — the counsel of the three, ' Let 
us,' &c., showing the special glory of man ; the breath from 
above, and the earth, showing man both spiritual and connected 
with Nature, and all the other parts of this truly magnificent 
record. The creation of Eve out of Adam is as true as it is 
beautiful. (Eph. v.) 

" I have just been interrupted by a sailor, wishing to become 
a communicant. His account of his spiritual history was most 
original. One expression specially struck me. He said — * Since 
I gave my heart to God, He has become quite my idol.' 

" There is not much going on here at present ; there is how- 
ever some slight encouragement in the effects of the preaching, 
which now and then appear. It is a work of faith, and how 
thankful we ought to be that it is entrusted to us ! I have 
been cheered by the way my Hungarian book, published by 
the Tract Society, has been received in» Hungary. The Hun- 
garian Protestant Church, I am grieved to say, is to a large 
extent Rationalistic." 


In another letter he speaks of the future punish- 
ment controversy, and then of the present state of 
the Churches : — 

" I quite agree with you about Dr. Campbell's ^ views on men 
being reconciled. The clearest proof is 2 Cor. v. 19, 20. Mr. 
White's book is the best on that side, and he is a thoroughly 
good and Scripture-loving theologian. Still he does not con- 
vince me, and his hypothesis has many difficulties. I do not 
think the Bible statements, taken as a whole, can be made to 
mean anything else but what the whole Church has taught 
— an awful alternative of life or death, — and death not in the 
sense of non-existence. I suppose you know Mr. White was 
a, brother of the late L. N. E. 

Camj^bell, formerly of How. 



" What you say about * the Church ' I feel constantly and 
very painfully. The Church in a sense is also a failure, as 
Israel was. The apostolic condition altered even during the 
Apostles' lifetime, and the attempt of catholicity and infalli- 
bility ended in the Eoman apostasy. The various Protestant 
Churches are one-sided, and do not possess the fullness of 
teaching, worship, and life, which would satisfy us ; many of 
them being besides mixed up with the world, not holding the 
truth in purity. There is, I think, nothing else for us but to 
be patient, to help our own community, and to ' testify.' If it 
shall please the Lord to set up the Church in a truly apostolic 
spirit and life, previous to His return, I think there will be 
such evident tokens and such a heartfelt attraction, that the 
children of God will feel no doubt and hesitation." 


In the following letter he refers to Broad 
Ohurehism and to his own experience of it : — 

" I must write a word about heterodoxy. I am not much 
afraid of its effect on you, because of the promise, ' They shall 
be all taught of God. ' I know that you have an experimental 
knowledge and conviction that Scripture is God's Word, and 
that the Lord Jesus is the Righteousness, Peace, and Life of 
all who trust in Him. Whatever difficulties, and doubts, and 
temporary aberrations you may have to pass through, I feel 
sure that the Holy Ghost will enlighten and confirm you, if 
you look steadfastly to God through the revelation of Scrip- 
ture, as it centres in Christ (1 John ii. 27). I passed for 
several years through many doubts and phases, and was 
exposed to very ' Broad ' and even Pantheistic influences, and 
I remember that I was often irritated by severe and impatient 
orthodox treatment. The reading of Scripture, and of Pascal's 
Pensees, and the friendship of a few really good Christians 
dispelled the mists. I have a great horror of the sweetish, 
modified, and rationalized Christianity a la Dean Stanley, &c., 
although I know that excellent men have felt drawn into it. 


But I think they had still the quintessence of the old views 
sustaining them. What we need is more spiritual power and 


Of a visit to Greenwich, he says : — 

"I was greatly cheered within the last few weeks by finding 
three of my old Greenwich Bible-class decided Christians, and 
working in the Church. They are all under twenty. One wrote 
me from Paris. She is under Miss Leigh, who is doing such 
excellent work among the English residents. The other 
called on me yesterday. She is only seventeen, and takes charge 
of a creche, a Sunday-school of eighty, and evening classes, 
in East Greenwich." 


In the next letter he speaks first of a depression, 
to which he w^as often a victim : — 

" I have been without an assistant, and overwhelmed, not 
so much with work, though I have had more than the usual 
amount, but with a very obdurate fit of depression, of which I 
am quite ashamed, but which is very painful." 

He then goes on to speak of the '' Catholic 
Apostolic Church " : — 

" I don't believe in their claims at all ! In the beginning 
of the movement there was much that was good, thovigh even 
then mixed with error, impatience, and fanaticism. [Perhaps, as 
Mr. Baxter thinks, there was also some demoniac influence.] 
As for the revival of the Apostolate, I think it was never 
intended, and is in itself, to my mind, an impossibility. The 
Apostles were eye-witnesses who had seen Christ, and had 
received their commission from Him personally. Only one of 
the twelve needed a successor, and that was Judas ! The 
other eleven were supplemented by Matthias and Paul, and in 
the nature of the case need not and cannot have successors. 
There is only one neck in the body connecting the Head with 


the rest of the organism. Hence we find that while full 
particulars are given as to the appointment and qualifications 
of bishops and deacons, nothing is said as to future apostles. 

" But, if we grant, for argument's sake, that there could be 
Apostles, that is, men to whom the risen Christ appears, and 
whom He sends forth, what have the so-called apostles to show 
as evidence of their mission % What doctrine, work, revival 
of the Church, conversion of Jews or heathen 1 I can see 
nothing but a confused, semi-Romish, sacramentarian doctrine, 
self-instituted Symbolism, and avast amount of machinery, quito 
out of proportion to its work. 

•' You say they have prayed for restoration of gifts, and wh}^ 
not believe that they were answered % But although believing 
this sincerely, I may doubt both the character of their petitions 
and of their gifts. Most men who start new theories and 
churches, like Swedenborg, &c., could say the same thing. 
Our revelations, &c., are in answer to our prayers. Now as 
to miracles and gifts. There is no one who denies that they may 
appear at any time. There may have been miracles of heal- 
ing and of other kinds, in various periods of the Church. 
But I think that miracles are not in accordance with our 
present dispensation. For this reason. In the Theocracy 
miracles come generally at some great crisis, for instance, 
before and at the Exodns ; in the days of Elijah. There were 
periods of several centuries during which there was no miracle 
at all. From Elijah and Elisha to Christ I think there was 
none,i and that is a very long period. When Christ comes 
again, there will be signs. The present Church period is one 
of testimony, suffering, and faith. And a long intermission of 
miracles is therefore not strange. 

"Then again as to the prophets and tongues. What have 
they ever uttered among the Irvingites but the most common- 
place exhortations, like ' Beautiful ! Christ is coming ' 1 The 
fundamental truths have been so overlaid that they are seen 
only with a very dim and flickering light. They hold the 
truth of the Second Advent, and this is very valuable ; but 

^ This was evidently written in haste, as there are the 
miracles in the times of Isaiah, Daniel, &c. 


they have in the first place connected it with a theory whicli 
may be true or not, the secret rapture, and with the prepos- 
terous assumption that it is necessary to belong to them, in 
order to be among the wise virgins who are received at the 
Lord's Return. I have met some very good and devout men 
belonging to them, and had some of their writings, which 
I like to a great extent ; but I have not the slighest misgiving 
as to the rejection of their claims. 

"■ But I must not write any more on this point, or enter on 
the other point you mention. You will find many difficulties 
disappear as you get more fully satisfied on the great central 
points. If we have Christ by faith we have eternal life, and 
what more can we want 1 To be spiritually-minded is life and 
peace. Whatever Church says least about itself and most 
about Christ is, I think, the best. In this respect we have 
all to learn much." 


"Have you been reading Beck? He is perhaps a little 
deficient in the consoling and encouraging element, but there 
is something very wholesome about his teaching. 

"We spent a few days in Bhxckheath, and I preached to 
many of my old people. It was very pleasing to see so much 
affection as they showed. I sometimes feel very much 
burdened about my ministry here (Notting Hill). There is 
something unreal about a London Eclectic congregation. 
But I suppose I ought to fall in with the circumstances." 


In the following letter he describes a visit to 
Edinburgh endeared by old associations : — 

" We came to dear Edinburgh on Saturday, after spending 
a few delightful days with old friends in new earth. It is 
very refreshing to be with old friends, and to see the children 
grown up who loved you long ago. Yesterday I Avent to hear 
Dr. MacGregor according to your suggestion. I liked his 
simple and warm-hearted exposition of the Lord's Suppei- very 


much. He excused and mildly defended the Scotch infrequency 
of Communion. But I am sure nobody can defend it, and he 
himself would like to see it altered. I went to his after- 
service. He is a very attractive man, and was very kind. . . . 
I am more at home in Edinburgh than anywhere ; I suppose 
it is owing to the College days' associations. But it seems 
that I am to remain in Babylon ! I dare say it is best so." 


" I hope you enjoyed the services of Good Friday, &c. If 
these special days are helpful to you, you are quite right to use 
them. There certainly ought to be most perfect liberty on such 
points. I was so thankful for what you said about your 
feelings on the doctrine of the Atonement. It is the central 
doctrine, and there can be no true view of our blessed Lord 
Himself without it. His whole character, and especially His 
love, appears in the proper light only when we see the great 
purpose for which He came. It seems strange that any one 
could ever mistake the Gospels and Epistles on this point. 
All the varied and forcible expressions are so abundant and 
so clear. I do not think there is any good and adequate theory 
of the expiation : it is the mystery, and therefore the stumbling- 
block. But the heart and conscience find perfect and abiding 
peace only here. You say, that only when we are crucilied 
with Christ, we can enter into the Eesurrection light and joy. 
This is very true, but allow me to point out to you what I 
conceive is the Scripture teaching on this subject. Many good 
people are kept in doubt and anxiety because they look upon 
this 'crucified with Christ' as a gradual progressive thing. 
They never know when they have attained to it, and when 
they have a right to the grace and light of resurrection. Now, 
we have been crucified together with Christ, once and for ever, 
eighteen hundred years ago, just as truly as we fell in Adam. 
In our actual experience we notice it only when we come to 
know and believe it. Now the conscience being set free, and 
that which formerly hindered being taken out of the way, we 
are also raised again with Christ, and seated with Christ in 
heavenly places. If you view this as o^faot and a cj'ift^ and nob 


as an ethical requirement, you will see that it is perfect, ac- 
complished, and eternal. Now comes the exhortation, * Being 
risen with Christ, set your affection on things above.' The 
usual mode of preaching is ethical. Like Christ, be crucified, 
rise from the dead, &c. But you see this is mistaking the 
superstructure for the foundation, and never can give peace. 
According to this, Col. iii. would be : 'If you have your 
affections set on things above, have your affections,' &c., which 
is tautology. But we believers have been crucified together 
with Christ, and are risen with Him ; therefore we belong to 
the above, &c. Now you must bear with me for being so prosy, 
for I have you ' on my heart.' It is the greatest blessing 
from God, when we have any thirst for this light and love ; 
and there is the absolute certainty that the secret of the Lord 
is with them that fear Him. How happy we ought to be 
when we know ourselves the objects of such love, and the 
heirs of such promises ! May you have a long and happy life, 
and in the only true sunshine ! " 


The followino; letter is on the Atonement, and 
refers again to his own earlier struggles with 
unbelief : — 

" If you strictly and sincerely analyze it, unless Christ died 
as a substitute, in the old-fashioned Catholic sense, w^e are all 
our own Saviour's ; each one in his manner trying to copy the 
example and enter into the Spirit of Christ, 

'' Only read Hebrews ix. and x., and it will take away the 
finely woven veil of darkness. 

" The union of Father and Son is redemption ; the voluntary 
character of Christ's Death, the wonderful Mediator position 
which Christ holds in Creation — all these points throw light 
on the character of the Atonement ; and we can only wonder 
that men can charge the doctrine of the Atonement with 
representing God as cruel, bloodthirsty, arbitrary, &c. In 
John iii. you have the two facts connected. The Son of man 
-iitunt be lifted up — and 'for God so loved the world,' &c. 


The one an absolute necessity (if men are to be saved), the 
source, the spontaneous love of God. I suffered for years from 
the teaching of Schleiermacher's disciples (when I was about 
seventeen). These men were just like the Broad Church 
people. They are strong in negatives — no vicarious atonement, 
no real Inspiration of Scripture, no Conversion by the Holy 
Ghost, no assurance of salvation ; everything is simply modi- 
fying, analyzing, diluting, and undermining the doctrine and 
experience of the Christian Church ; and the real drift and 
practical outcome of their teaching is, that we must try to be 
good, to die unto sin, and to live unto righteousness, and to 
take Christ as our model. They always talk about ' ethical,' 
not 'spiritual' — that is born again of the Spirit. If by God's 
grace the Image of Christ crucified, as it is given in Isaiah 
liii., had not been after all the deepest conviction of my heart, 
I would have become a downright Pantheist through their 
means. It is this experience which makes me so intolerant 
of them. Yet I know, that some of these very men in their 
inmost heart believe in the Lord ; and dear Schleiermacher 
himself had the Moravian element in him, and his last words 
on his death-bed, when he had taken the Lord's Supper with 
his family, show that his real trust was, Christ ybr us. 

" We find it all so diflicult to take in the idea, that this 
present dispensation is that of Christianity despised and in a 
minority ; not many wise, etc. (1 Cor.); it is a little flock; 
our Lord is as yet incognito, and the attempts to present 
Christianity as i:)roved by history, as establislied, as acknow- 
ledged by philosophy and the world wisdom, are, although 
often well meant, only a virtual altering the quality of 
Christianity to gain a large quantity of adherents." 


The following extract from a letter bears on the 
subject of Separation from the World : — 

''Your question is very diflicult of application. Mr. Webb 
Peploe I think right in lu'ging a decision before Confirmation^ 
We must expect from every professing communicant that he 


will give up 'the world.' What is meant by the World is a 
question on which light must be sought, and is more likely to 
be found among God's people than the others. But it must 
come from within, the stronger affection driving out the other. 
Our German Christians are much stricter and more separate 
from the world than the English. It is a very sad subject, 
and one can only commit those about whom we are anxious to 
the Holy Spirit's guidance and influence, and occasionally say 
a poiyited word to them. Now-a-days people don't believe in 
the flesh, the world, and the devil being our real enemies ; and 
the world especially is considered to have existed only in the 
days of Pagan Rome." 

THE lord's day. 

The next letter is on tlie Observance of tlie 
Lord's Day : — 

'' Your questions are not easily answered in short space. I 
think you know my views on Sabbath and Lord's Day. There 
is unity and parallel as well as contrast. The Sabbath was, 
though a command, a privilege, a kind of gospel; it wns also 
understood not merely as a day of rest, but of Spiritual 
communion (Isaiah Iviii. 13). It is embedded in the whole law 
of Moses, especially the festivals, but this Jewish character 
does not affect its universal authority. It is God's will that 
fallen men, whose labour is partly punishment and toil, should 
rest on the seventh day. In the New Testament, Believers 
belonging to the Second Creation, Pvasurrection-Life, have 
the lirst day of the week symbolized by the sheaf of Easter. 
They start with rest, and then work in its strength, while in 
this they have also all the provision they need, as men still 
in their Adam nature, on which the Law dwells primarily. 
While they keep the (new) Lord's Day, the righteousness of 
the Law in this fourth commandment also is fulfilled in them. 
Unbelievers and nominal Christians, in not observing the 
Lord's Day, both despise the gospel offer and privilege, 
embodied in the day, and break the unchanging law of God, 
concerning man's weekly rest. So while you must enter fully 
into the New Testament character of the Lord's Day (like the 


Brethren), hold fast the Scotch idea of the connection between 
Law and New Testament, and then everybody will hate you ! — 
the free people for being strict, and the strict people for being 
free. The mere Dominican view of the Lord's Day as a 
Church institution is, I am convinced, most inadequate. The 
Scotch view is too one-sidedly legal, yet nearer the ichole truth. 
I would give anything to see a stricter view of the Lord's Day. 
It would do us more good than all self-invented methods of 

Rutherford's letters. 
In another letter, he says : — 

" I have been reading last week Kutherford's Leifers. They 
are indeed fragrant, and very good parallel reading with 
Philippians, having personal experience for their substance. 
Also a good comment on the Song of Songs. I think it is 
the most Herzliche Buch which has come out of Caledonia, 
stern and wild." 


In the following letter he thus speaks of the 
Perfection Theory : — 

"The verse in the Epistle of John, which you quote, is 
quite intelligible as referring to the new man in the Spirit — 
born of the Spirit ; but if referred to the whole actual in- 
dividual, proves too much, viz. that no Christian ever can sin, 
and that any one who sins, is not a Christian. And this is 
quite in opposition to chapter i. and chapter ii. 1, 2. The 
believer is certainly no longer under the dominion, and within 
the sphere, of sin ; and his whole spirit and heart go against 
sin ; and yet he is always sinning, and always has need of 
confessing his sins. The English mind, as you know, is very 
slow in understanding and combining antinomies, and apt to 
take up one aspect exclusively. As in this case, either to 
dwell on the believer's deliverance from the dominion of sin, 
or to dwell on the fact, that as long as we live in the body 
we always sin ; there is, on the one side, a danger of self- 


delusion, a low standard of sin, and imaginary, self-complacent 
holiness ; on the other of unholiness, self-indulgence, and luke- 


" As to the * extent ' of the Atonement, I can understand 
your indignation. It is the same sort of feeling I get when I 
read ' Broad Church ' books, and not at all good on a holiday. 
Dr. Candlish preached and urged the gospel as freely and 
earnestly as any one. I don't think the question is one which 
stands between the soul and Christ, but more theoretical. 
Any one who feels the need of Christ, and has a glimpse of 
who and what Christ is, will sooner or later be at peace. 
Theories are of no avail ; either narrow or broad ones ; the 
question or rather answer in the Shorter Catechism on effectual 
calling is most life-like. To say all are reconciled, if they 
only knew it, is not Scripture ; the gospel message is, ' Be ye 
reconciled.' The witness of the heart is also against this 
theory. Yet it may be meant in a true sense. For in reality 
all true Christians mean the same thing. You will find in the 
New Testament many more passages than one is inclined to 
suppose, in which the special and peculiar relations of the 
death of Christ to believers is dwelt upon ; such as, ' Thou hast 
redeemed us out of every kindred,' &c. (Rev. v. 9) ; or our 
Lord's words (John x. 11) : 'I give My life for the sheep,' in 
connection with vers. 26, 27, sheep always used for true 
believers, the elect (Eph. v. 25). The intercession of Christ is 
a parallel subject (John xvii. throughout). If we view the 
Atonement from the believer's point of view, that is after our 
having experienced its power, we must see the special and 
definite connection between it and the true chosen and 
ultimately sound believers." 


"You seem always anxious that everything should appear 
fair, rational, and thoroughly understandable to the outsider. 
And up to a certain point this is quite right, and it is altogether 
advisable ; but we may make the door wide in such a way that 


it leads to nothing. Also we may be mistaken as to where 
the real diflSculty and opposition lie, for us. We cannot believe 
implicitly people's statements on this point. On the other 
side, the Scripture representations of God's love and of His 
salvation are world-wide and comprehensive. There must 
alioays remain, I feel increasingly, a point where we must be 
content to confess our utter inability to reconcile two lines of 
statements, and must adopt the Apostle's ' the depth,' &c. 
(Rom. xi. 33 — 36). Certainly the Arminian ' chance ' and 
' co-operative ' system has no occasion for any exclamation of 
the kind. 

" I enjoyed preaching in Buxton very much. It was a very 
interesting audience, and many ministers. Donald Fraser 
preached the Sunday before. I was glad to hear him, also 
to have long talks with him. We liked both him and Mrs. 
Fraser very much." 

After referring to other subjects lie concludes : — 

"How *unco satisfying' it is to get away from the theo- 
logical extracts and (hindrances), to the living waters of the 
Word, in which every element is blended perfectly ! " 


" I can understand your feelings about the universal aspect 
of the gospel. No doubt there is this aspect of God's love and 
Christ's mission in the proclamation of the gospel. But it 
must be combined with the special inside and experimental 
view. The door is wide open, but I don't like living in the 
open street. It must lead to an inner, safe, and homely retreat. 
In Scripture, election and God's general goodness are stated 
constantly, — and constantly together. Look at Psalm Ixv. : ' O 
Thou that hearest prayer, all flesh shall come to Thee. 
Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to 
approach unto Thee.' In John xvii,, the Lord says: 'As 
Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He may give 
eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Ilim.^ 

"My objection to the Arminian or semi- Arminian is not 
that they make the entrance very wide ; but they don't seem 


to give you anything definite, safe, and real when you have 
entered. There can be no real difference among those who are 
trusting in Christ, and living by faith in Him." 


He writes at the close of a year on the effect of 
affliction and chastisement : — 

"The year that will soon be gone has been a very sad year 
to me, and the saddest thing of all is, that I feel little sub- 
mission and still less thankfulness for the bitter medicine 
from a loving Hand. How much greater have been the 
blessings ! You are quite right in thinking that some of our 
trials and sufferings are judgments, — not punishments exactly, 
but chastisements for sins, negligences, self-chosen paths, etc. 
(Psalm xcix. 8 ; 1 Cor. xi. 32). They are always seasons of 
humiliation and confession ; but it is love which sends them 
to enlighten and to heal us, and to raise us through sorrow 
and self-judgment to a higher level, that is to greater humility, 
self-distrust, and rejoicing in Christ. The usual ' sweet ' 
consolation given to Christians in affliction is defective, and I 
believe the heart feels it to be so ; it does not sufficiently bring 
out the corrective, humbling element ; every branch in Christ 
is pruned by the Father, and in this there is an expression of 
judgment on what is evil, and a hindrance to growth and 
fruit. But remember it is the Father who prunes, and that 
we are in Christ, who is our real life. All our experience in 
the two Adams, the one iiainful, and the other joyous." 



In the next letter he refers to the connection of 
the present and the future life. He is explaining 
references in a lecture which had been recently 
given : — 

"What I said about life and death was of course only with 
reference to a special point. The life of Moses, David, or 


other great public men, as far as their work and history are 
concerned, is ended by death. Christ by death and resurrec- 
tion enters into a new stage of His life in reference to 

*' As for our future work, I have no doubt that there will 
be activity, but our life-work, for which we are to be judged 
and rewarded, is certainly finished and stereotyped at death. 
' The work done in the body.' There is no more serving, 
trading with our talents, &c. after death." 


In a letter, dated Oct. 15, 1886, he refers to 
tlie cono^reg-ational relations : — 

"I wish I knew a good correlate to 'Pastor' which is of all 
addresses the dearest to my heart. I have not much delight 
in the congregation as a corporate body ; but the individuals 
to whom I have been of any help and comfort, are very near 
and real to me." 


He speaks in regard to Cliurclies and Politics 
and Voluntaryism : — 

'' The horizon seems troubled again ; and perhaps the old 
minister was right, who never read the papers, because he 
knew from Scripture what would be the end of all things. I 
do not like the combination of Land League and religion. It 
is partly a confusion of the Church dispensation with the 
millenium, when Psalm Ixxii. will be fulfilled. As citizens, 
we are justified in seeking by right means to obtain just and 
equitable things; as Christians and Churches we ought to 
suffer quietly ! And this is also my answer to your remark 
about Voluntaryism. I also do not admire it, as it exists. 
If Voluntaries and Dissenters are content to be nothing in 
this world but spiritual witnesses and loving epistles of 
Christ, then they are indeed fragrant; but if they want 
power and echit and the other things, they likely only add a 


bitter and envious spirit, and tlie spirit of bondage to the 
multitudes, to the faults and failings of the others." 


Eeferring to the case of a young man who had 
difficulties about Calvinism, he says : — 

" I was much interested in your remarks about the diffi- 
culties of the young man who had been brought up in 
Calvinistic teaching. I should be sorry to underrate any 
mental or spiritual difficulty, or to resort to the simple and 
easy method of laying all difficulties to the charge of moral 
opposition or perverseness. But it does sometimes appear 
strange to me that difficulties are brought forward which do 
not touch anything vital or important. In every science you 
cannot understand everything at once, and many perplexing 
things appear intelligible or at least less obscure afterwards. 
If the character and Divinity of Christ, the Atonement, the 
influence of God's Spirit in our hearts, the experience of prayer, 
and such points are first honestly examined, the other ques- 
tions would * range ' themselves. As for ' Pharaoh,' it is not 
merely an Old Testament difficulty ; but still more fully and 
explicitly in Romans ix. we have the same fact stated, 
whatever its explanation. 

" Again, as to Calvinistic teaching, I quite admit there is a 
hard and logical method of teaching the doctrines of grace, 
which is not like Scripture, experimental and spiritual. The 
difficulty still remains, however, that as the Church Service is 
in the first instance for God's worship and the instruction and 
advancement of believers, many things must be explained and 
dwelt on, which unbelievers or outsiders cannot fully under- 
stand, and which they likely will misunderstand, and at which 
they will be offended. In the Gospel of John you can see this 
even in the 'public teaching of our Lord. How much more in 
His disciple-teaching, such as John xiv. 17, and the Epistles ! 
But the Church is the congregation of believers, and to them 
God's truth must be fully unfolded (see all the Epistles). 
Other effoi"ts to bring in others should not be neglected. We 


have too much adapted our whole service and Church-life to 
undecided worldly people." 


" We were a few Sundays ago in Cologne Cathedral. 
Nothing can be more wonderful ; it is both majestic and 
sweet. But the service is something appalling, and how any 
one can find it solemn or attractive is a mystery to me." 


He writes in resfard to the " Hidier Life" : — 

o o 

"Your question about the Higher Life will require a long 
answer. I see however no difficulty in the point you special- 
ize. It is only by the Spirit that we are roused, enlightened, 
and enabled to take hold of Christ. After we have done this, 
the Spirit is an indwelling Spirit. It is the same Spirit who 
first acts on us till we believe in Christ, and then is within 
us (Eph. i. 13). After I believe, I possess the Spirit of Son- 
ship ; I pray in the Holy Ghost, S:c. The Spirit is in me, and 
not merely with me and acting on me, but in me. But this 
change or foundation is once for all, and in the nature of 
things cannot and need not be repeated; though there are 
many phases, renewals, revivals, <tc. The phenomena Ave 
notice are all easily explicable in the following way. Kot all 
the Spirit's operations are converting. Many people are 
merely roused, enlightened, called, and fancy themselves con- 
verted. They are truly under Cod's special influence, but they 
have not gone on to that actual change, the apprehending of 
Christ. Now these people, not possessing faith (but only 
wishing for it and making towards it), cannot bring forth the 
fruit of faith. With these people what is called the second 
conversion is really the frst. Because in the fost movement 
(which I do not deny to have been of God), it was only the 
intellect, conscience, and sentiment, short of the heart and u-ill, 
which was led Christward. They did not really receive Christ, 
for Christ is not divided, a Forgiver of sin to-day, and then 
years after a Eenewer of heart and Implanter of life. I 


a great many of our loeo'ple are in this state. (Just like 
my pessimism.) Ministers, parents are too glad to see any 
spiritual concern, and far too readily pronounce people con- 
verted, who are only beginning to wake up. 

''The second point is, that believers very soon after their 
conversion become stationary, drowsy, — Christ even calls them 
dead {Sardis), — and for years after make no progress either in 
knowledge of the truth, or love, zeal, &c. If they were as 
anxious, earnest, and diligent after as they were before that 
crisis, it would be different. "We know from observation that 
people often go on for twenty or thirty years in this wretched 
condition, in middle-age life especially. Now the 'higher 
life ' movement points out very wholesome truths to such. 
Still I don't think it is on the right foundation, and its 
methods are morbid. . . . 

"I am not much cheered by the aspect of things — the 
whole modern edition of Christianity is not very savoury. 
But I think it l^etter that all this hidden Socinianism and 
half-baked unbelief should show itself, and the genuine people 
who are at present in great danger under these Rabbis, will 
then seek for some shelter. We are in perilous times ; and 
how thankful we ought to be if we have Christ and the 
unction from above. Our isolation, and the contempt of the 
world and of the rationalistic church, will become yet greater; 
but the one grand thing is to be faithful. 

"P.S. — I find I have omitte 1 to mention a third class to 
whom the ' Higher Life ' movement is useful. Those who 
were true and earnest Christians, but have not been led 
sufficiently to see the thorough Gospel character of sanctifica- 
tion, and were acting on the co-operative and legal system. 
To them the exposition of Christ as sanctification, and passages 
like John xv. and Rom. vi., are as it were a new start. But 
after all my great concessions, I do oiot think it scriptural." 

DR. Keith's last days. 

In a letter from Buxton, he speaks of a Jewish 
Christian lady whom he had met at the boarding- 
house, and of the death of Dr. Keith : — 


" One interesting acquaintance I made here was with a 
Jewish lady who, twenty years ago, became a Christian, and 
was deserted by all her family. Her loneliness is touching. 
She has a strong, simple faith. She had never met a Jewish 
Christian before, and I think has been much cheered by my 
conversation. Also Dr. Keith, who spent the last years of 
his life in Buxton, had often spoken to her about me. The 
landlady in whose house he died, and who was most devoted 
to him, has told me much about his last days. He was a 
truly good and great man, and as happy as a child to the 
very last." 


He thus speaks in a letter of translations of tlie 
German Bible : — 

" The Germans have two excellent translations besides 
Luther's ; one by de Wette, which is both accurate and elegant ; 
and another by J. F. von Meyer, which is the best, perhaps, 
as the translator was both an excellent scholar and a deeply 
experienced Christian." 


Keferring to sermons he was preaching on the 
GosjDel of Luke, he says : — 

"I never realized so much before the tragical character 
of the Gospel history — especially from the Jewish point of 
view, which is the only way to realize it as history which 
actually happened. The Christian Jew has some advantages ; 
he is brought into closer contact with the great facts and 
with the history of Christ. Our Church is too one-sidedly 
doctrinal, and the historical and prophetical elements are 
neglected. But we must make the best of what is left us, and 
strengthen the things which remain. A revival of the apos- 
tolic ministry may perhaps be granted ; or the end may come 
without it." 



" I return with my thanks that most affecting letter you so 
kindly allowed us to read. The conversations of which Dr. 

M told you must be a great comfort to you, and I feel 

very thankful to you for telling me about them, and thus 
enabling me to enter into fuller sympathy with you, in your 
present sorrow. You have passed through many trials ; but 
I know that your faith will be strengthened by them, and be 
found at last as the Apostle Peter describes (1 Pet. i. 7) ; — a 
very glorious and awe-inspiring truth which, when revealed to 
the heart by the Spirit of God, sustains us in the sad experi- 
ences and sorrows of life, which are so often dark and perplex- 
ing. ' We walk by faith as strangers here.' It is indeed a 
valley of tears ; — though often unseen, how much sorrow there 
is in human hearts ! " 




His Assistants — Kev. H. E. Brooke, Rev. J. Stephens, and 
Rev. J. H. Topping — Lady Grant — Miss Cavendish — His 
Failiu-e of Strength — Difficulties — Nervousness — Degree of 
Doctor of Divinity from Edinburgh — Resignation in 1880 
— The Misses Jacomb — Brief Ministry at Kensington. 

IN the year 1875, Dr. Saphir's health, which was 
always uncertain, became seriously afifected. 
He could not continue two services on the Lord's 
Day. He could preach once on Sunday, and give 
a lecture on Thursday, but when he attempted 
to preach twice on the same day he became utterly 
exhausted. He had, therefore, to get an assistant 
to supply his place when he was away, or when 
at home he did not feel equal to preaching. 

His first assistant was the Eev. Henry E. Brooke, 
son of the late Master Brooke of Dublin, Judge 
in Chancery. ]\Ir. Brooke had been a clergyman 
of the Church of England, but had left it, from 
conscientious scruples. Dr. Saphir in writing to 
me, in regard to him — when I consulted him 
about another church — said : — " He is a most ex- 
cellent, spiritual, thorough man, a good scholar, 

264 REV. H. E. BROOKE. 

and a most instructive and edifying preacher. 
When Mr. Brooke was with me at Notting 
Hill it was only in an interval of engagements. 
I should have been only too glad if he had 
continued, but of course he was far too good for 
the post. I cannot say too much in praise of 
him." Mr. Brooke continued to assist him for 
about seven months, and enjoyed his association 
with him. One of his chief difficulties was the 
frequent absence of Dr. Saphir, and the painful 
sense of the disappointment of those who had 
come long distances to hear him. He says : — 

" His health was always weak, and made him shrink from 
going much among his people. He was very uncertain as to 
his power of preaching at any particular time " (that is at 
this period), "and one of the most trying things connected 
with my period of service was that sometimes on Sunday 
morning when a large congregation (gatbereiJ, many of them, 
from a distance), were assembled to hear him, a message would 
come to me in the vestry, shortly before the time for opening 
the service, to say, ' I am not well to-day, please take the 
whole service.' The congregation bore my taking the early 
part, reading and prayer, as I often did that when he 
preached, but when it came to my going up into the pulpit, 
their looks, and sometimes an audible ' Oh ! ' betrayed their 
disappointment.' ' 

Mr. Brooke writes further : — 

" His dealings with me in the matter of Baptism illustrate 
his large-hearted ness on such points. When asking me to 
assist him, which I did for a winter and spring, I referred to 
my inability to baptize infants. He said he knew of it, but 
as I was not appointed by the Presbytery, or officially recog- 
nized, it would not matter. I added, * I fear I ought to say 
that I do not think it would be consistent in me to be present, 


if there were such baptisms going on.' He said he thoroughly 
understood my feelings, and that he would always ex'-use my 
absence on sach occasions. He added, that if he had the 
mmagement of church matters, he would letve Baptism (as to 
its subjects, mode, &c.) an open question, and not allow it to 
divide those who were members of the Church. I remember, 
too, once in the vestiy saying to him, ' You do not wear the 
gown like other Presbyterian ministers.' 'No,' he answered, 
* I used to ; but one day I was putting on my gown before the 
glass, and the thought struck me : Why do I put it on ? I 
cannot say why I do so — I won't do so.' So he threw it off, 
and never again wore it. This would illustrate his originality 
and independence, though I am not sure that his reason was 
a very good one." 

After Mr. Brooke left, the Rev. James Stephens, 
the well-known Baptist minister of High gate, 
then beginning his ministry, was the assistant for 
two years. It was now definitely arranged that 
the assistant should take the Sunday evening 
services, and do the great part of the pastoral work. 
Mr. Stephens writes that he enjoyed much his 
association with Dr. Saphir. " It was to me a 
privilege to be permitted to have intercourse with 
him, and one could not but love him." Mr. 
Stephens was much esteemed as a preacher, though 
of course the position was difficult, as the con- 
gregation was a special one, composed of people of 
all churches, attracted by Saphir personally. His 
departure, when called to his present charge, was 
much regretted by Dr. Saphir and the congregation. 

When Mr. Stephens left in 1877, the Rev. J. 
H. Topping succeeded him, and continued to be 
assistant, till Dr. Saphir resigned his charge in 


1880. Mr. Topping was a devoted friend of the 
Saphirs, with whom they kept up frequent inter- 
course to the last. He was very active in visiting 
and doing congregational work, and he preached 
on the Sunday evenings, and often at other times. 

Saphir had that singular power, possessed by 
only a few, generally men of genius as dis- 
tinguished from mere talent or cleverness, with 
which genius is so often confused,— and alv/ays 
men of heart, — of attracting^ round him devoted 
followers, both men and women, who would have 
done anything in the world for him. There are 
those, and not a few, who speak with enthusiasm 
of Saphir and his conversation, and his sermons 
above all ; and who cannot write of him except 
in the spirit of eulogium and strong affection. 
To those who understood him, — and he could 
discern at a glance real from assumed admir- 
ation, and instinctively see into character with 
a swiftness and power possessed by the very few, 
— to those with whom he felt in sympathy, and 
who he knew understood him, — he was the most 
open-hearted, genial, and constant of friends, 
without one shadow of constraint or formality. 

The friendship of Lady Grant, the widow of the 
well-known Sir Hope Grant, was remarkable. It 
was like the tender atiection of a near relative. Sir 
Hope and Lady Grant had been known in India 
as devoted Christians, who never avoided showing 
their sympathy with even the most humble labourers 
in Christ's vineyard. The following anecdote of 


their life at Meerut illustrates this : — Walking out 
late one evening, they saw lights, and heard sing- 
ing in a small building. They went in and found 
it was a soldiers' chapel, of which they had never 
even heard. Among the soldiers present there were 
only two of the Lancers (Grant's regiment), the 
one named Williams, and the other named Tabor. 
Hearing that the former was in the habit of giving 
addresses in the chapel, Major Grant sent for him, 
and learnt that he had been preparing for the 
Wesleyan ministry, when from some unknown 
cause he gave it np and enlisted. Major Grant 
went to hear him, and w^as delighted with his 
earnestness and natural eloquence. He and Mrs. 
Grant not only attended themselves, but did all 
they could to induce the men to do so. When, 
many years after. Sir Hope was Commander-in- 
Chief of the Madras Army — his last service in 
India — working parties for the w^omen were estab- 
lished in almost every regiment, and every Christian 
or benevolent work met with ready sympathy and 
effectual help. This Christian aspect of his character 
w^as noted in lines in which the following words 
occur : 

" One wlio?:e pious life had no need to divide 
The Christian and the Captain — well content 
To pray with his own soldiers bide by side." 

His end was peace. He more than once expressed 
his assurance, " I know that my sins are forgiven. 
I know they are washed away in my Saviour's 
blood." He several times spoke of dying as " going 


into another room " — " passing through a dark 
archway " ; and when asked if he were happy he 
replied, " Perfectly happy." 

Sir Hope and Lady Grant had just found out 
Saphir, and begun to attend his ministry, before 
Sir Hope's death. Lady Grant was a singularly 
beautifal character, meek, and humble, and Christ- 
like, full of kindness and self-abnegation. 

A soldier thus describes her sympathy with the 
men and their families in Lidia : — " Our noble 
chief and Lady Grant, when lately at our station, 
were wont to countenance our games, and to be 
present at our meetings of prayer, and her ladyship 
visited every house in our Parcherry, not to inspect 
and criticize, but to speak a kindly word, and, 
when required, to extend a helping hand ; and to 
this day, the tokens of her kindness are exhibited 
in the cherished Bible, or in some other beneficial 


Lady Grant derived great benefit from the 
ministry of Dr. Saphir, and she became most 
warmly attached to him and to his wife. She was 
a frequent visitant at their house, and a sharer 
in all their joys and sorrows. She watched over 
him as if he had been her son. Lady Grant 
always followed him in his ministry. She went 
first to the church at Notting Hill ; then to 
Kensington when he preached there, and then to 
Belgravia, during the six years of his ministry 
there. She died a few months after his death. 

Another friend greatly devoted to him was 


Miss Cavendish, of the well-known Cavendish 
family. Miss Cavendish saw him frequently, and 
always spoke enthusiastically to her friends about 
him. She also worked a great deal for him, and 
took charge of all the details of plans which he 
wished carried out. She raised large sums to help 
him in his various enterprises, and gave most 
liberally to them herself. It was by her that the 
arrangements were made for the last course of 
lectures delivered in Kensinsfton, which have been 
published since his death. She was always ready 
to help him in every enterprise. Her unexpected 
death in 1890, after a few days' illness, at the age 
of about thirty-five, was greatly felt by the Saphirs. 
Dr. Saphir was with her to the last. 

During these years there was a constant struggle, 
as regards health. He had been anxious, at the 
beginning of his Notting Hill ministry, that the 
Rev. Robert Taylor of Upper Norwood should 
become co-pastor. Such an arrangement would 
have removed many difficulties, and Mr. Taylor 
thought of it seriously, from his love to Saphir, 
and his desire to save him from anxiety, for the 
good of the whole Church — but it did not seem 
practicable. At first, however, he seemed to have 
recovered his strength, and to be able for the work, 
but from 1875 onwards it was otherwise. His true 
position in this later period would have been that 
of a select preacher, with no pastoral connection. 
Difficulties arose in connection with his failure of 
strength, which made him anxious and low-spirited. 


He was of a very nervous temperament, and he 
became worried and ill, when he could not accom- 
plish all that he wished, or that was expected of 
him. Complaints arose when he had to be fre- 
quently absent. He therefore felt constrained, to 
the great grief of many of his congregation, to 
resigti his charge. The church had been purchased 
for him, and large sums of money had been spent 
on it in connection solely with his ministry, and 
it did seem hard to his devoted friends that he 
should leave. Many were the regrets expressed, 
and great were the struggles in his own mind. He 
resigned, — feeling however uncomfortable, anxious 
and low-spirited. Preaching was his delight, and 
he was never happy, when not regularly engaged 
in it. After a time, he accepted another pastorate, 
where he had many followers, but still he had 
never the same joy and satisfaction as in his 
ministries at Greenwich, and during the earlier 
years at Notting Hill. He was succeeded in the 
Notting Hill church by the Rev. Dr. Sinclair 
Paterson. Dr. Paterson was a devoted friend and 
admirer of Saphir, and was greatly esteemed by 

In the year 1878, Dr. Saphir received the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity from the University of 
Edinburgh. His claims to such an honour were 
fully stated by the Rev. Professor Charteris, D.D., 
then Dean of the Faculty of Divinity. He was 
very glad to receive the degree from Edinburgh, 
to which, as a centre of Academic learning, he was 


warmly attached, liaviiig spent there his best and 
happiest student days. Dr. Charteris writes, re- 
ferrino- to Saphir's head and heart knowledtre of 
Holy Scriptures, as shown in his writings, " I am 
gkid he was our D.D." 

Dr. Sajjhir spent about six months in Scotland, 
chiefly at St. Andrews and Edinburgh, after his 
resiojnation of his charo-e at Nottino; Hill. He 
then returned to London, and stayed for the 
winter with his devoted friends the Misses Jacomb, 
whose house was often a home to him for months, 
and with whom Mr. and Mrs. Sapliir frequently 
went for change to favourite English resorts. Both 
he and Mrs. Saphir had no friends in Loudon to 
whom they were more attached, or who showed 
them again and again, in times of trial, more hearty 
affection and genuine kinduess. They mourn their 
loss as if they had been near relations. They 
had an intense enjoyment in his society, as had 
all who really knew him. There was wit, humour, 
and transparency, with wide knowledge, extensive 
reading, and sound judgment as to affairs. He 
was always simple and natural, with no assumed 
airs or pretended importance. Having stored his 
furniture and given up his house, he remained 
with the Misses Jacomb from October to the 
beginning of summer. Daring this period of seven 
or eight months he preached in the mornings at the 
Presbyterian Church, Kensington, now St. John's, 
of which the Eev. Dugald. McColl, well known by 
his successful labours in the wynds of Glasgow, 


was the minister — then, however, laid aside by 
that illness which caused his early much-lamented 
death. A strong wish was expressed by many 
that Saphir would become permanently associated 
with this church, but there was not unanimity, 
and he did not desire to remain, — though he had 
preached there to large congregations. 




Congregation of Halkin St. — Rev. J. T. Middlemiss bis 
Assistant — Extracts from his Diary, and Saphir's Lettere 
to him — Record of his Intercourse with Saphir — Resigna- 
tion of Halkin St. Church — Lectures on the Divine Unity 
of Scripture — Mr. Grant Wilson's Reminiscences — Letter 
to a Servant — A New School Minister — To whom are 
the Epistles addressed? — Carlyle — A Family AflBiction — 
Letters to a Widowed Niece — Letter to a Norwegian Sea- 
Captain on Baptism. 

IN Feb. 1882 the congregation of Belgrave 
Presbyterian Church, which had been vacant 
from the time of the transfer of Dr. Sinclair 
Paterson to Trinity Church, resolved to call Dr. 
Saphir. He was at first very undecided, but was 
induced at last to accept. Dr. Paterson, who felt 
that it would be much better both for Saphir and 
for the cause of Christ that he should have a 
settled pastorate, used all his influence in bringing 
about the arrangement, and mainly effected it ; 
and one gentleman, since dead, Mr. Cockburn, a 
leading director of the Union Bank of London, 
offered £200 per annum towards his salary. 

Mr. Grant Wilson, who for his sake accepted 
office as one of the elders, and who was a devoted 
friend, WTites in regard to this period : — 


*' There were cheering things in the congregation. Mr. 
Cockburn's liberality. Miss Cavendish was ever ready to do 
everything that could be suggested for Dr. fSaphir's comfort. 
She purchased, at great cost, an admirable system of ventilation. 
The foul air was mechanically exhausted, and replaced by puri- 
fied air, — when needful vvaimed. She also furnished a new 
vestry, and provided a dispensary at a cost of £90 per annum 
for Sloane Place. Lady Hope Grant, Sir William McKinnon, 
Lord lilantyre, and many distinguished persons, including the 
Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons (Gossett) were 
constant attendants." 

This congregation had been ministered to for 
many years by the Rev. Thomas Alexander, an able 
man, much loved by his people, and then, as we 
have indicated, by the Rev. Dr. Sinclair Paterson for 
eight years. It was arranged that Dr. Saphir was 
to take the Morning Service, and was to have an 
assistant to preach at the Evening Service and to 
care for the pastoral work. He had in succession 
several excellent assistants, notably the Rev. J. T. 
Middlemiss, now of Sunderland, to whom he was 
much attached ; but the system did not always 
work smoothly, and he was often cast down and 

The following extracts from his diary, kindly 
forwarded by Mr. Middlemiss, give a vivid picture 
of Saphir's varying states of mind, and of the 
anxieties and worries, often unnecessary, caused 
by his feeble bodily health, which lay at the root 
of all his changes and uncertainties, and the trouble 
of which was always increasing in his later years. 

"May 17, 1884. Dr. Saphir contemplates resigning, and 
thinks he is not a success. The congregations are good, the 


church being nearly full. The new Scotch Church in Park 
Street (St. Columba) is affecting us, specially when men like 
Tulloch, Caird, and Macgregor are there. The real cause of his 
depression is Mrs. Saphir's illness. Dr. Kidd has told Dr. S. 
that she may not walk again. Much cheered by a visit from 
Dr. Fleming Steven.<on, who advises him to stay, and points 
out that Belgravia has peculiar difficulties, so that he need not 
be discouraged. 

"June 12, 1884, Dr. S. has been for three weeks at 
Tunbridge Wells. He returned to-day in wonderful spirits, 
quite a new man. A specialist has informed him that Mrs. 
Saphir's illness is quite temporary. 

"June 29, 1884. It is customary for each Jew to have 
given him a verse, when a child, which he calls his verse. 
Dr. Saphir's verse was, ' I am the Lord thy God, which brought 
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.' 
The verse has all his life long been very dear to him. 

''Oct. 22, 1884. Dr. S. said— 'Pascal's T'/ioz^^/^ is have in- 
fluenced me more than any book I know.' He admires Claus 
Harms very much, and lent me his Life to read. His sermons 
are much enjoyed by Dr. Saphir. He also spoke very highly 
of a cultured Roman Catholic divine whose writings he knows 
— Veille of Vienna. 

"Dr. Saphii' possesses all that Dr. Beck (Tiibingen) and 
Claus Harms published. He delights to preach. It is no 
trouble to preach to an expectant people. He greatly 
advocates extempore commenting, as the Scripture is read. 
Last Sabbath he never reached his sermon, but commented in 
a remarkably powerful manner on Psalm xxv. I may add 
that this was the finest thing I ever heard Dr. Saphir give. 
It was purely spontaneous, as he had another sermon prepared. 
He spoke over half-an-hour. 

"Dec. 9, 1884. Conversation turned on Dr. Norman 
McLeod, whom Saphir highly esteemed. When on the Con- 
tinent with him, Dr. S. said, ' I was never with him more than 
half-an-hour without his mentioning the name of Christ, and 
sjDeaking of his soul or of heaven. Though he was broad 
on the Sabbath question, no man kept the Sabbath more 
simply, strictly, or piously, even when on the Continent. 


"Jan. 18 to 25, 1885. Dr. S. told me that when a boy he 
was much in Vienna with his uncle, Moritz Saphir, who was 
the editor of a paper there. All eminent players and singers 
came to see his uncle. . . . He complains much about pains in 
the head. He ' cannot work, and at times feels stupid.' When 
quite at ease he speaks much in Scotch lingo. I may add that 
when in the vestry before service, and thinking much, and 
nervous, he invariably spoke to me in German. 

"March 9, 1885. Exceedingly nervous in view of Session 
meeting ; no sleep last night. Had been again thinking of 
resignation. This meeting led him to think of remaining 
another year at Belgravia. He returned home quite cheery ; 
both Dr. and Mrs. S. in best spirits. 

" Dr. S. thinks he is himself too metaphysical and theo- 
logical to be a good popular preacher, but he is too fond of 
preaching and of taking part in the congregational service to 
leave that, and devote himself to theology proper. 

"Oct. 25. Said to-day in his sermon, of John x. 14: 'I 
think without doubt this is the most precious verse of 

" Preached at Greenwich last week to large congregation. A 
big working-man came to him after the service and wanted 
to say something, but could not get it out for sobs. At last 
he said, ' Don't forget to remember us.' This impressed Dr. 
S. much. 

" Dec. 3. Unable to make up his mind — whether to resign 
or wait until June. Does not know whether to have another 
assistant, or colleague and successor. Asked me if I would 
remain as colleague. His favourite hymn is that of Zinzen- 
dorff, translated by John "Wesley — 'Jesus, Thy blood and 
righteousness.' Portraits in his study — Gossner, Nitzch, Glaus 
Harms, Louis Harms, Melancthon, McCheyne, and Spener. 

The following are extracts from letters of Dr. 
Saphir to Mr. Middlemiss : — 

" You know my views of the sanguine expectations of Pres- 
byterians, looking merely to population, &c. The minister is 
the martyr, and is judged by outward success, when it is often 
quite impossible." 


" I am sorry to think that in London and in our peculiar 
circumstances advertising on a Lirge scale and persistently is 
our main chance. It is peculiarly distasteful to me. So like 
Pears' Soap, &c." 

" The conviction on the Second Advent will come to you in 
good time; it is rather the result of the impression of the 
whole tenor of Scripture than the exegesis of a few passages. 
But you need not be anxious nor impatient about it. Here 
also the letter killeth ; it is the spiritual attitude towards 
Christ and against the world which is everything. I some- 
times feel as if we talked about the Lord's return too much, 
and not with the kind of timid reticence which a real affec- 
tion would produce. But I may be morbid in this also : my 
present tendency is silence.'' 

In a further communication Mr. Micldlemiss 
says : — 

" On my first going to Belgrave as Dr. Saphir's assistant, 
his reception of me was very cordial. I had not been long 
there however before I found that he was somewhat restless. 
He was not sure whether he would long remain the minister 
of that church or not. He contemplated resigning now and 
then, during the whole time I was with him. At times he 
was fully persuaded to give up, at other times he was just as 
desirous to remain. The causes for these states of mind were 
several. The most important amongst them was his oimi 

" He was seldom well. I cannot say that he ever had more 
than seven consecutive days of good health. Yery often he 
was well one day and unwell the next. I never knew any 
individual so variable. To-day he might be on the mountain- 
top, enjoying exquisite visions, to-morrow he would be down 
in the valley, wrapt in gloom. Dr. Saphir lived a retired, 
simple life, but when his liver was troubling him he found it 
difficult to view things in their right perspective. He took 
distorted views of matters, magnified little troubles, and 
became despondent. Hence he so often thought he was not 
succeeding in Belgrave; and his extreme sensitiveness, leading 


him to imagine that the office-bearers there might think so 
too, led him to speak of resigning. 

" The next cause was Mrs. Saphirs illness. 
" It is not necessary for me to try and tell how much they 
were to each other. They lived for, and were tenderly solicitous 
of each other. As circumstances afterwards showed, they 
could not live apart. His decease was no surprise to me, 
when she had gone. Her illness made him ill. And when her 
medical man told him that she was likely to be permanently 
invalided, he almost lost heart. He desired to submit to God's 
will. He thought he ought to give up his ministerial duties 
and attend on her, and yet he felt called to preach the gospel. 
She knew he would not be happy unless proclaiming God's 
truth, and yet she grieved to see him troubling himself about 
matters in connection with Belgrave church. After a brief 
rest at a watering-place, where a doctor had said she would 
soon recover, he came back bright, buoyant, and hopeful. A 
great load had been lifted from his mind. 

"Preaching only in the morning, and coming seldom into 
contact even with the leaders of the church, he never knew 
the people, he never knew how they regarded him, or how 
he helped them. Any results of his ministry came only 
through people who visited him. 

" During the whole of my intercourse (two and a half years) 
with him he was exceedingly kind. He welcomed me to his 
home, and admitted me to the closest intimacy. No one could 
have been more generous or considerate. Whenever he was 
not going to preach at the morning service, he offered to 
give a fee for supply, if I thought the two services would be 
too much. I was struck too with the phrase which he in- 
variably used, when introducing me to strangers. He always 
said, ' Mr. M., loho is associated loith me in the ministry at 
Belgrave.' It reminded me of Leitch Ritchie's invitation 
to James Payn. Piitchie was editor of Chambers' Journal, 
and he wrote, ' I have long felt the need of help ; will you 
come and be my co-editor?' Most men would have said 
sn6-editor. He possessed a large vein of humour, and in 
his younger days he had written many light pieces which 
never saw the light. When quite well he would say crisp, 


bright, sometimes pointed and keen things, and not iin- 
freqviently looked a little startled at his audacity, in having 
given utterance to them. This happened in his liveliest moods. 
He enjoyed a good story very much. 

"There was a kindliness and tenderness about him which 
made him very attractive, with great simplicity and childlike- 
ness of disposition. These features of his character enabled 
him easily to throw himself into the spirit of Faber's words : — 

* If our love were but more simple, 
"We should take Him at His word ; 
And our lives would be all sunshine 
In the sweetness of our Lord.' 

" Mrs. Saphir was frank, outspoken, and very tender-hearted. 
If she took to any one, she overflowed with kindness. Like 
Dr. S., she was extremely sensitive." 

Dr. Sapliir writes of a visit to his old church at 
Greenwich : — 

''I cannot describe how thankful I feel for this visit. I 
had no idea my ministry was such a reality to the people, up to 
this day. The church was crowded, and more than one hundred 
people spoke to me afterwards. The dear people who are now 
scattered in different congregations took their old seats in the 
church. Many young men and women who had been very 
dear to me were there. Altogether I am quite delighted and 
strengthened in the faith ; only sorry I had ever left them ! 
But no doubt it was to be so. Sara was with me, and greatly 
enjoyed it." 

Dr. Sa^^hir remained at Halkin Street till April 
1888, when he resigned his charge. The congrega- 
tion suffered a good deal from the j^roximitj of 
Dr. McLeod's church ; and he became disheartened 
when the congregation in any way diminished. 

After his resignation he continued to live in 
Lansdowne Koad, Netting Hill ; but now with- 


out any charge, frequently preachiDg in different 
churches. In the winter of 1888-89 he delivered 
a course of Lectures in Kensington, which have 
been published since his death — the most im- 
portant perhaps of all his works,^ and a valuable 
contribution to the present controversy on the Old 
Testament, — in which he was entirely opposed to 
the revolutionary attempts of the so-called higher 
critics of recent times, whose representations he 
regarded as mere fancies emanating really from a 
pantheistic spirit, and irreconcilable with the idea 
of the Divine authority of the Scriptures, and also 
with the internal evidence of the books themselves. 

Mr. Grant Wilson writes : — 

"These matters were constantly in his heart, and formed a 
great part of his conversation. A part of the Parade at St. 
Leonard's seems almost sacred to me — that between the Colon- 
nade and Dormer's Library. My children called it the 
Pilgrims' Path, as Saphir and I paced it hour by hour — two 
greybeards — in earnest talk ; he pouring forth all he felt 
about the fallings away from the truth, the many false teach- 
ings, the ignorance of much of them, and their frequent 
unfairness ; how, routed on one point, they had often not 
the honesty to confess defeat, but simply attacked in a new 
quarter ; — I deeply sympathizing, and chiefly a listener. 

'' His early life was most interesting, as he spoke of it. 
The devout father * waiting for the consoltition of Israel,' 
and teaching his children so carefully in all he knew, thus 
making him so thoroughly furnished, according to the Jews' 
religion, and preparing him for his after work as a Christian 
teacher. His pictures of his father, and of his devout home- 

1 Tlte Divine Unity of Scripture. Hodder and Stoughton. 


life, and training of his children, had a great charm about 
them, and I recall them with peculiar pleasure. 

" A special charm in Dr. Saphir and his preaching was its 
singular freshness. * We have found the Messiah.' ' We 
have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, 
did write — -Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph ' — found con- 
tinuous expression in him. The find seemed so real, so nevj 
and so glorious, and so ever-present, that it became a new 
revelation to all who came into contact with him. 

•' Another feature of his preaching was his power, after 
a few words in passing, to summarize or characterize the 
various books of Scripture. His marvellous knowledge and 
constant study eiiablerl him thus to give us very briefly the 
history, scope, and main characteristics of the prophets, &c. 

" I first heard Dr. Saphir in Kidley Herschell's church — 
Ridley Herschell was the father of the present Lord Chan- 
cellor. Dr. Saphir was introducing his brother-in-law. Dr. 
Schwartz, as Herschell's successor. Many think of Saphir as 
deeply learned, and a wonderful feeler of the flock; above 
all, as one who provided treasures, rew and old, for devout 
Christians. But he was also wonderful in his simplicity and 

Wc have received the following interesting 
letter, enclosing one from Dr. Saphir : — 

"Having seen," says the writer, "your letter in Word and 
Work, in the beginning of September, I have sent this letter 
from dear Dr. Saphir in re[ ly to one I had written to him, 
telling him how God had blessed his ministry to me. 

" 1 am a servant. I was away from London, and had not 
the letter with me. I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Saphir 
nearly every Sunday morning while he was minister of Bel- 
grave church, and his ministry was blessed to me far above 
what I could have asked or thought ; and if you think, sir, 
there is anything in this letter that might be helpful to any 
other soul who may be going through the depths of spiritual 
darkness and trouble, I shall be glad to have had the oppor- 
tunity of sending it. I value it amongst my best treasures." 



The letter is as follows : — 

" I thank you very niiicli for your kind note. It is a 
very great encouragement to me to hear that my words are 
blessed to my hearers, and that God is pleased to comfort and 
restore any of His children through my ministiy. Though 
a minister ought never to doubt that God "vvill bless the 
message, yet faith is often painfully tested ; and a note 
like yours is very refreshing. I am not able to see much of 
my hearers ; and though I feel my heart very much drawn 
out every Sunday, to lead each one to the Fountain of living 
waters, I often wonder how far my words hnd entrance into 
the mind and heart. The believer often feels very lonely, 
and thinks no one has come through such painful experiences 
and depths as he has ; and Satan often uses this feeling of 
desolateness and sadness to inject doubts and hard thoughts. 
But if we read the Psalms, the prayer of Samuel, and many 
other passages of Scripture, we find that Ave are not alone, 
and that all the children of God pass through manifold and 
heavy soul-trials. Psalm xiii. is precious. Peter's great object 
is to 'strengthen the brethren,' because he knew from ex- 
perience the weakness of the believers, apart from Christ. 
And all these experiences have only one object : to keep us 
humble, and to make us debtors to grace ; — the longer we live, 
the more. In heaven we shall be so clothed with humility, 
that there will be no need of these painful experiences, to 
make us feel the exceeding preciousness of the Blood of Christ. 
I trust you will continue resting in the Lord and praising 
His grace. It is a good thing that the heart be established 
with grace. 

"Again thanking you for your note, and hoping that you 
will remember in your prayers one who is in much weakness 
both of body and soul, 

" I am, 

" Yours faithfully, 

''A. S.M'IIIK. 

«' p^g. — Accept a few of my writings with my best wishes." 


We give here some extracts from further letters 
of these later years, to Lady Kinloch : — 


'' The enclosed note of the minister is quite plain. He is 
evidently in a perplexed state, and fancies he is one of the 
apostles and martyrs of the ' New School.' I am very sorry. 
It can only do harm to ventilate these negative opinions in 
the pulpit. A Bible without inspiration (and lax views of 
inspiration virtually, to the general public, amount to no 
inspiration), an atonement without substitution, a Christianity 
without conversion and the work of the Holy Ghost — these 
generally go together, and of course such teaching will con- 
ciliate outsiders — to remain as they are ! and only starve or 
ruin the sheep. I have the greatest horror of the whole 
school, and that from experience. I have sympathy and also 
hope when I see in Germany or elsewhere a Unitarian or 
sceptic making his way to the light, holding lax views; he will 
likely come on to full knowledge ; but to hear our Presbyterian 
ministers talk in this broad way is to me perfectly distressing. 
But if I may suggest anything to you, I would to a certain 
extent ignore and avoid the subject with Mr. M. For he will 
only feel bound to emphasize his crotchets all the more. Dwell 
on what of truth positive about Christ and spiritual experiences 
he does teach, and then he will see what you think truly 
important. But you know best. Are we helping people to 
take hold of Christ by repentance and faith ? It is not strict 
theories of inspiration, &c., which keep men from coming to 
the Saviour and beginning a new life, or seeking the power of 
the Holy Ghost. These ' broad men ' are great Philistines and 
pedants and book men. Where are they when there is a real 
revival 1 " 


Writing in regard to the present state of aifciirs 
in the Churches he says :— 

''I think the whole Bible is given by God to Israel and the 


Church, before the whole world and for the whole world ; but 
it is evident that much of the Bible is only addressed to, and 
understood by, the true Believers. Every author writes for a 
certain public, who can understand and appreciate him ; and 
the Holy Ghost, the true author of Scripture, inspired the 
Bible, that the man of God may be perfected, &c. Of course 
we urge all people to read the Bible, and to regard it as a 
message to them from above, and we know not when this 
reading may become a real revelation. The Epistles are 
plainly addressed only to saints, believers, spiritual men, who 
have an unction from above. This I think most important, 
and the neglect of this truth has greatly contributed to the 
utterly worldly condition of the Churches. I shall try to 
refute briefly what is said against this view : (1) The 
Epistles are addressed to professing Christians (whether con- 
verted or not). In Apostolic days the Jews and former 
pagans who professed Christianity, professed also that they 
believed personally, and had experienced the grace of God. 
Although there were hypocrites, &c., they were men and 
women, who, in repentance and faith, separated themselves 
from the world, and gave themselves to Christ and the new 
life. Then there were tares among the wheat ; now, I fear, we 
have only wheat among the tares? (2) The Epistles, it is said, 
are addressed to the baptized. Yes ; but the baptized then, 
as Acts ii. tells us, were believers, who from the heart had 
received the Word of God, and were thus sealed — not like our 
mass of traditionally baptized, most of whom have no experi- 
ence of Christ, many of whom are worldly and dead, not a few 
of whom are Agnostics. This produces the strange phenomenon 
of Churches which ought to be a witness against the world, 
actually cherishing and encouraging the world as part of them- 
selves. Christendom is fast ripening into the apostasy. Ach 
iveh ! I think the Plymouthists err not so much in their 
principles, as the application of them." He adds : " We are in 
the times of the Gentiles, when Israel (! !) is in unbelief, when 
the Church is a witness and suffering, when Christendom is 
ripening to the great Apostasy. Then comes the Parousia, 
or Advent, and the New Dispensation. We know enough to 
keep us hopeful and watchful, to warn us against Christendom 


and its whole Wesen, and also to make us content to be a 
minority — *The stupid party.' You see I am enough of a 
Plymouthist to make me feel very lonely among the 
Presbyterians, and yet I could not be a Plymouthist, as 1 
think they evade difficulties and trials which are put upon us, 
and as I think they are unscriptural in their method — without 
Presbyters. I console myself with individual believers in 
all the Churches. The Churches are getting most fearfully 
Gentiley and unscriptural." 


"I am now very much interested in Professor Delitzsch's 
Jewish work. The Institutum Jiidaicinn, which is now planted 
in seven German universities, seems to have arisen in a meeting 
of a few theological students for prayer for Israel, at which 
they read my tract, Wer ist der Apostat ? I had a very 
beautiful letter telling me this from the secretary." 

Of the aspects of the time he says : — 

" We are approaching very severe sifting times in our 
Churches. There is little faith in the authority of God's 
Word, and we shall soon see the true character of philosophical 
Christianity. I think the fewer books we read the better ; it 
is like times of cholera, &c., when we should only drink filtered 
water, &c. Psalm xci. 5, 6, is a promise for these days. There 
is no bridge between God's truth and man's wisdom, and I 
suspect most attempts to conciliate reason, of treason." 

In a letter from Brighton he says — 

"There is no brtdr/e between reason and the un discoverable 
truths of re%'elation, and we cannot save any one the leap of 

Speaking of Carlyle, he says : — 

" What a curious man Carlyle was, according to Froude's 
statements. One cannot help liking him in spite of all his 
oddities and faults, and his sad want of Christian faith. His 


estimate of art is refreshing in this age of altogether morbid 
artisticness. I was very pleased to notice he liked Tieck's 
novels. I see to-day that Ranke, in his ninetieth year, has 
published another volume of his WeltgescJiichfe. The first two 
volumes I have read are wonderful, and such pleasant reading, 
as his style is very lucid." 


There was a favourite niece, the daughter of a 
deceased sister of Mrs. Saphir, who was much 
with the Saphirs, both l)efore and after her great 
sorrow, and greatly beloved by them. She had 
been married to a highly respected physician in 
Dublin, a Dr. Maturin, who, about half a year 
after the marriage, was suddenly removed by 
death, resulting from his having performed a 
dangerous operation for another doctor. It was 
a heart-rending grief, which brought on severe 
illness, and Dr. and Mrs. Saphir felt the deepest 
sympathy and sorrow. The two following letters 
written at the time, with their profound view of 
the love of God even in the midst of most bitter 
afflictions, may be a comfort to many who have 
lost beloved friends. The first is dated Nov. 27: — 

"Dearest Leila, 

" I need not assure you how deeply we sympathize 
with you, and how constantly we have been thinking of you 
and your sorrow these last days. . . . We are greatly re- 
lieved to hear that you have your dear husband's mother with 
you, for no one could sympathize with you so fully at this sad 
time. . . . Although in real heart-grief God only can give 
consolation and strength, it is a great help to have the com- 
panionship of those dear to us. You know that we also, and 
your other uncles and aunts, feel with you in this sore trial. 


You can only be still and silent before God, and wait on Him. 
It appears very dark and overwhelming; but we must exercise 
faith in Him who is infinitely wise and loving. Only He 
can enable you to submit to His will without bitterness. It 
is beyond human power, but God can and does by His Spirit 
heal broken hearts, and He can comfort where all earthly 
consolations are vain. We think of you night and day, 
dearest Leila, and we know that you will bear up, and that 
God will uphold and strengthen you in this hour of grief and 

'* Your aunt and I long to see you. It would be our 
greatest pleasure to have you, and we are if possible more 
(|uiet than ever. . . . Whenever you want quiet or change, 
only drop us a card at any time ; and it will be always con- 
venient and a joy to have you, both to yoiu^ aunt, who loves 
you like a daughter, and to me." 

The other letter is as follows — 

" Dearest Leila, 

" We wonder at not hearing from you, and your aunt 
is afraid that you did not look on my letter as from her also. 
The fact is, she feels too deeply with and for you to write 
herself. I can assure you that you are rarely out of her 
mind, and tliat nearly every night she lies awake thinking of 
you. And I am sure she never forgets you in her prayers. 
Indeed I have almost daily to comfort her. You know her 
sensitive nature, and that she specially shrinks from writing. 
Bat she is full of love to you, and has been watching the post 
constantly, to hear from you. 

"I also have thought much about you, and I wish I could 
liave a quiet talk with you. Although I have not come 
through a trial so severe as yours must be, I and your dear 
aunt know something of the anguish of losing one in whom 
our affections were centred, and whose place nothing can fill 
up." (He refers here to the loss of their only child.) "And 
as we go on in life we must sooner or later learn what at first 
seems a bitter lesson, but is meant to yield peaceable fruits, 
and fill the heart with a peace which will never fail. But 
there are sore difficulties besetting us in the loneliness of 


bereavement. I hear you are regretting the neglect of rertain 
things, which might have issued in recovery. Let me assure 
you, from a long experience as a minister, that there is scarcely 
a death in which survivors have not such regrets. I know 
them from my own experience. They are very tei-rible and 
gnawing, but, I am sure, they are generally quite false. This, 
however, cannot be proved mathematically, (at least some- 
times). We must therefore rise to the only true view of 
God's supremacy and providence, which embraces every cir- 
cumstance and detail, ' If Thou hadst been here,' said the 
mourning sister, ' my brother would not have died.' It was 
true, in one sense ; but Christ pur[ osely did not go there 
after He had received the message, ' He Avhom Thou lovest is 
sick.' He wished and purposed that Lazarus should die, that 
God's glory in him should be manifested. No mistake of ours 
can c )me in reality between God's counsel and love and the 
individual ; and all secondary causes and circumstances must 
be viewed as orlered by His wisdom, permitted by His will, 
and overruled by Llis law. 

" Such thoughts must be resisted, dear Leila ; they throw 
no light, but utter darkness, on oiu' minds, and fill us with 
doubt and distrust Godwards. 

" I have often felt perfectly unable to say a word to the 
bereaved, knowing the desolateness and sorrow of mourning 
hearts. But if I had more love and more faith, how much is 
to be said to comfort and to raise the bowed down ! One 
thing is clear, that the wretched unbelief and Agnosticism has 
NOTHING to say ; no loving Father, no sympathizing Saviour, 
no Spirit above, able and yearning to lift up our spirit, no 
endless conscious life with Christ and all the Saints, and no 
resurrection in the likeness of Ciirist's body. 

" But I believe — and this too from my own experience — 
that there is no lasting consolation and no true remedy for 
such heart-ache as is yours, but our setting our affections 
supremely on Christ, and loving God with all our heart, and 
finding in Him our bliss and heaven. There is an idolatry 
which follows the dear departed ; and yet God's loving purpose 
in ALL His dealings with us, is to make us love Him supremely, 
and be happy in His love. 


" Occupation, work even of benevolence, only postpones and 
Mdes the great and only step that has to be taken, although 
it has its own use, and afterii-ards is strengthening and com- 
forting. Believe it, that tlie Love of God in Christ, and a 
spiritual life in Him, now on earth and hereafter, are great 
realities, though we speak of and realize them so little, that 
when they are brought before us we shrink from them as if 
they were shadows, and our ordinary life substance. 

" And in this renewed and deepened act of faith, God, 
knowing all our weakness and sorrows, is full of tenderness, 
and knows how to deal with the bruised reed. 

'' Job, in his sudden bereavement, remembered that the same 
Lord who h;id taken away his children had given them. All 
the sunshine and joy of the past was GocVs gift, and does He 
change? He is the same loving One in taking as in giving. 
Blessed be the Name of the Lord ! His Name, for to us 
Christians He is not anonymous, but our Father in Christ. 

" If we have — and I know how difficult it is — left all in 
God, and believe and submit, then in addition to Himself, God 
will give us also the consolation of finding our loved ones 
again, when we can never lose them. I have always held that 
we cannot love wife, or child, or friend too much, if we love 
them imder God, and with God, and in God. 

'' But I fear I may have wearied you. All I can add is, 
that I hnoio what I have said, and that I have said it with 
the truest love and sympathy." 


The following letter has been sent to us by a 
Norwegian sea-captain, who never saw Dr. Saphir, 
but had been greatly impressed by his writings. 
He thus describes his own relation to him. The 
letter of Dr. Saphir is on the subject of Baptismal 
Regeneration. Captain Hoyer writes to us from 
Arendal in South Norway, December 13, 1892. 


" What gave occasion for me to get a letter from Dr. Saphir 
I will tell you. I am a Norwegian sea-captain, and as such 
I have had opportunity to get acquainted with his books, and 
also been in his church, Ils'otting Hill, in London ; but he was 
absent for his health then, and I did not see him. But I 
learned to appreciate his writings, and how I love the man, 
though I never saw him ! What spiritual food his expositions 
are ! — no sentimentalism, but deep, solid, spiritual nourishment 
for the soul. I have got most out of his writings, and they 
are my choicest readings. Now I was brought up and con- 
nected with the Lutheran Church ; but when I came to examine 
the sacramental doctrine on Baptismal Regeneration in the 
light of God's Word, I had to give it up, and I found the 
reformed doctrine more scriptural. My country is all Lutheran 
in doctrine except some of the Dissenters, and they stick to it 
very strictly, the chief reason for which I may confidently 
say is want of enlightenment. So I determined to write a 
treatise on the subject, and in order to know what doctrine 
such a man as Dr. Saphir held about it, I wrote a letter to 
him, and asked him kindly to tell me. This he did. That 
letter is to me a real ' love-letter.' . . . One thought seems to 
make even heaven more attractive, if I may reverently so speak : 
that is, to be able to see and converse up there with men 
like Dr. Saphir, so Christ-like, so devoted and saintly, and so 
humble and kind and good," 

In a second letter, enclosing Dr. Saphir's, he says : 

" I often take, to me, his dear letter to look upon ; I love to 
see the words penned by the dear man again and again, and 
often when out in foreign countries, exposed to all kinds of 
tempations, have I received strength and encouragement, by 
recalling to mind such men, and trying to have a kind of, 
spiritual companionship with them." 

The following is Dr. Saphir's letter to Captain 
Hover : — 

'' Ilkley, Yorl-sUrr, Jnhi 17, 1S90. 
" Dear Captain Hoyer, 

'« Many thanks for your kind and most interesting 


letter. I should have replied sooner, but my health has 
been very bad, the last month. I was obliged to give up all 
preaching, reading, Szc, about a month ago, and the doctor 
ordered me complete rest for three months. It is a very 
severe trial, but the Lord has sent it for some loving and 
wise purpose. 

" It was like a gleam of sunshine to me to hear of the 
Lord's having made use of any of my writings, and it was 
kind of you to write me this encouraging fact. 

" You will forgive my not entering fully on your question, 
as my head is not at all strong. I know little about the 
Norwegian Church. Besides some sermons, translated by 
Gleiss, and what my friend Mr. Horjohann of Christiana 
has told me, I know nothing. I have read some of Heuch's, 
and many of Kierkeguard's books. I was greatly interested 
to hear of the Free Church. The question of Baptism is very 
difficult, and I am very sorry to hear of your troubles. The 
unity of the Body is most important and precious ; and every- 
thing must be done to preserve its outward manifestation, but, 
of course, faithfulness to truth entrusted to us in God's 
Word is the first duty. 

" I do not hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration ; on 
the contrary, I regard it as unscriptural and injurious in its 
tendency. But I cannot forget that many of the ministers 
and other Christians who hold it, are truly converted, and 
fully hold the precious doctrines of justification and the work 
of the Spirit. Some of our Reformed theologians have used 
the expression ' regeneration ' in connection with baptism, 
among them Calvin, and their statement as to the import and 
benefit of Baptism is very strong, in emphasizing that it is 
more than an emblem or sign. Sometimes regeneration means 
with them only the being placed by God in a new position, 
and brought into the outward House, in which the blessings 
of the New Covenant are received. But I know the Lutheran 
idea of Baptismal Regeneration goes beyond this. 

" I have often thought that the question of Baptism should 
he first considered, as in the case of conscious believers, and not 
of infants. The New Testament passages referring to Baptism 
seem simple enough, when we apply them to Jews and 


heathen, who by the power of God received Jesus, and were 
admitted into the Church; with them Baptism was the consum- 
mating and culmiijating point of transition from the old 
condition to the new, and to such it coukl be said, ' As many 
as are baptized, have init on Christ' But to apply the New 
Testament passages to Infant Baptism in their full meaning 
seems to me an error, and it converts Baptism into a kind 
of physical or magical art, necessarily connected with the gift 
and work of the Spirit. On the other hand, to explain 
Baptism, starting with Infant Baptism, has the tendency of 
lowering Baptism into a mere ceremony or emblem, or to lay 
an exclusive stress on the subjective aspect of the parents' 
act of dedication, and to leave out (as I think the Baptists 
do) the much more primary and important objective aspect 
of Baptism, something that God gives and does, the seal of 
the righteousness by faith, the seal of the Covenant of Grace, 
which ever after is a confirmation and consolation to the 
believer. In our Church we baptize only the children of 
believers, and rest on the promise given to parents for their 
children (Acts xvi.), * — Thou shalt be saved, and thy house ' ; 
principle all the same, whether infants or intelligent 
children. We also assert that the benefit of Baptism is not 
confined to the actual time of administration. I have had no 
scruple about Infant Baptism ; but difiiculty to steer clear 
of a merely ceremonial symbol, and of a ' dedication ' (but 
there is no dedication of a sinful being apart from the Atone- 
Tiient and the Covenant of Grace) and baptismal regeneration 
on the other hand. 

" I have not written anything on the subject, which I think 
very difiicult and complicated. I like a little book by the 
Rev. W. Grant of Ayr ; and 1 believe Candlish on the Sacra- 
ments is good, but I don't know it. Also a tract by 
W. P. Mackay (Nisbet & Co.), — 'Baptism admission to the 
House, not the Body of Christ.' I think in John iii. water 
refers to John's baptism ; because at the time Nicodemus 
could scarcely avoid understanding it thus. Lutherans do not 
consider sufficiently the equally (if not more) important and 
emphatic words, amd the Spirit. ' Bath of regeneration ' 
(Titus) is intelligible in the case of believers, who as such, by 


baptism, were placed in the congregation of new-born children 
of God. The passage in Peter lays also stress on the faitJi 
and inward experience of the recipient. 

*' I suppose you know Beck of TUbingen on the Sacra- 
ments. He is very candid in his remarks on Infant Baptism, 
and altogether worth consulting. 

" The latest Calvinistic dogmatic book by Bohl (a follower 
of Kohlbriigge),^ almost justifies the word regeneration as 
applied to baptism. Kohlbriigge, whom I regard very highly, 
has written on the subject, and his view and also that ex- 
pressed by his disciple, Wichelhaus of Halle, in a pamphlet 
Die Taufe^ of which Hengstenberg fully approved, ought to 
satisfy the EvaDgelical Lutherans, as it secures the objective 
character and preciousness of the Sacrament. But I fear it 

" I once spent a fortnight in the house of the late Pastor 
Harms of Hermansburg. I can never forget the dear man, 
so full of the Spirit. But he was very strong on baptismal 
regeneration. I trust the Lord will watch over your church, 
and prevent any division. He alone can help you in this 
difficulty by an abundant supply of grace, that light and love 
may go together and that the work of the gospel be not 

" Excuse this unstudied letter on so momentous a subject, 
but my health makes anything else impossible, and you will 
kindly look upon this as a merely extempore expression of my 

" May the Lord bless and guide you ! AYe have many 
difficulties at present in our churches, and the Lord's servants 
and witnesses need much grace and strength. 

" With Christian regards and earnestly requesting an 
iuterest in your intercessions, 

*' Yours, very faithfully, 

''A*! Saphir." 

1 Rechtfertigimg an den glauhen : Amsterdam and Leipzig. 




Love to Israel of Moses and of Paul — Pauline Doctrine of 
Israel's unchanging Position — What was Israel's Glory? 
— Israel's Present Condition — Prophecies fulfilled, and 
Prophecies to be fulfilled — The Future of Israel bright and 
glorious — Israel's Claim upon the Gentile Churches — The 
Everlasting Nation — What will be accomplished through 
Israel — The Pabinowich and Lichtenstein Movements — 
Pev. C. A. Hchunberger — Delitzsch's early Interest in the 
Jews — His Revival of Jewish Missions in Germany — Mr. 
Schonberger's Visits to Lichtenstein and Rabinowich — The 
Establishment of the Pabinowich Council, with Saphir as 
President — His Great Interest in the Work — Jubilee of 
the Scottish Jewish Mission — Address at Mildmay Jewish 

THOSE ticquaiiited with Saphir's works know the 
phice which his own nation, Israel, had in his 
lieart, and the most important destiny which, from 
the study of the Scriptures, he considered to be 
still before it. He was intensely interested in tlie 
Jewish mission, and he lost no opportunity in 
seeking to advance its claims. On the days of the 
Jewish annual collection^ he always pleaded the 
cause with earnestness and power, — and every 

' ^ An annual collection is taken for Jewish missions in the 
English Presbyterian Church, on the third Sunday in January. 


spiritual work cUiiong the Jews lie watched with 
interest. He was especially interested in the 
movements of Rabinowich and of Liclitenstein, 
which point to a national Jewish Church, accept- 
ino' Christ as the Messiah of the nation. He 
took a most active part in getting help for Rabin- 
owich, being the moving spirit of the Committee 
formed for the purpose ; and had much correspond- 
ence with his esteemed and always devoted friend, 
Professor Delitzsch, on the subject. Delitzsch 
moved in Germany, and Saphir in England. De- 
litzsch and Faber, in a preface to a new edition of 
his tract, ' Wer ist der Apostat?^ speak of the great 
assistance given to them in their work for Israel by 
Saphir, for many years. 

We begin our notice of this devotion to Israel, 
by quoting from a sermon preached in 1878 : — 

" Pre-eminent among the saints of God, of whom 
we read in the Holy Scriptures, are Moses, the 
servant of Jehovah, who was faithful in all God's 
house ; and Paul, the Apostle and the Gentile, who 
was able to say, ' Be ye followers of me, even as I 
am of Christ.' When we think of these two chosen 
vessels of God, of their wisdom, their meekness, 
their self-sacrifice, their zeal for God's glory, their 
unwearied and ardent love, their sufferings, their 
patience ; when we recall their tears, their words, 
their labours, their prayers, we feel so amazed at 
the grandeur of their characters and lives, that we 
are lifted above the lower sentiments of admiration, 
and above the common expressions of eulogy, and 


we can only glorify God in them. As when we 
stand before a majestic Alpine height, or gaze on a 
bright and beautiful star, we say, 'How great is 
God's power, how beautiful are His works, how 
wonderful is His glory ! ' 

'' Moses and Paul show that love of God and 
love to man are one ; that he who stands highest 
on the Mount of God, and sees most of the glory 
of God, has the deepest compassion, the most burn- 
ing love, the tenderest sympathy towards his 
brethren. Moses in his anguish said, ' Blot me out 
of Thy book.' He could not bear the thought of 
Israel's rejection. Paul, in the intensity of his 
affection and sorrow, could offer the same petition. 
We are not able to measure such depth of love 
man ward, because w^e cannot understand the height 
of this love God ward. We listen in silence. 

" Love to Israel, such as Moses and Paul felt, is 
a ray from that ineffable stream of light which is in 
God. The Apostle, when he speaks of his great 
grief on account of Israel's unbelief, is conscious 
that this feeling is not merely one of natural 
patriotism and affection, but of the Spirit, by 
virtue of his union with Christ. ' I say the 
truth in Christ, my conscience also bearing me 
witness in the Holy Ghost.' He who referred all 
feelings of true and tender love to the indwelling 
of God's Spirit, who longed after the Philippiaus in 
the bowels of Jesus Christ, is clearly conscious that 
His love to Israel is Christ-sprung, God-given, 
Spirit- breathed ; it is the Saviour's mind and affec- 


tion living in his heart. Behold with the eyes of 
Paul, Jesus Christ still weeping over Jerusalem. 

" Much," he continued, " as Paul loved the Gen- 
tiles, he never forgot his people ; he continually 
mourned over the unbelief and bondage of the 
chosen people of God ; and he continued steadfast 
in the sure hope that all Israel should be saved, 
and that the promises given to the fathers would 
be fulfilled, for the gifts and calling of God are 
without repentance. . . . Slowly is the Church 
returning to the Pauline doctrine of Israel's un- 
changing position in the kingdom of God, and 
of Israel's future conversion and restoration. 
Their sins, though red as scarlet, culminating in 
the crucifixion of the Holy One. shall yet be for- 
o-iveu, and the love of God shall visit them with 
everlasting redemption. . . . Out of the fallen race of 
Adam He chose Israel to be His son. His first-born. 
' Ye are the children of the Lord your God,' said 
Moses. ' Out of Egypt has He called my son,' 
said Hosea. He adopted them by grace to be His 
family, beloved and cared for and watched over by 
Jehovah, as their Father. Theirs also was the glory, 
not in the sense that they had anything wherein 
to glory. The nations of this world speak much 
and proudly of their glory ; Free England, Beautiful 
France, the Great Fatherland, — all nations have a 
glory, of which they boast. Not so Israel, for God 
often reminded them that they were chosen accord- 
ing to grace, not by reason of any excellence and 
merit they possessed. What was Israel's glory ? 


It was God's glory which belonged to them. The 
manifestation of God was given to them. While 
the nations were in darkness, the bright light of 
God's favour visited Israel. Theirs are the cove- 
nants. To them pertains the giving of the law. 
To them pertains the service. To them pertain the 
promises. Theirs are the fathers. Of them, as 
concerning the flesh, came Christ, the Lord. 

'' How great and how painful is the contrast 
when we look from the high position and blessings 
God gave to Israel, to their actual condition of un- 
belief and darkness ! For as Jesus is the centre of 
Israel, their life, light, and glory, death has been 
the consequence of their rejection of Jehovah, mani- 
fest. Therefore are they compared to dead bones, 
very many and very dry. They are dead, because 
Jehovah, God manifest, is the Life, the Spirit of 
the nation, and in rejecting Jesus they have for- 
saken the fountain of their life, the strength and 
substance of their existence. Behold their house is 
left unto them desolate ! What is their house ? 
Jerusalem and the pleasant land. It is trodden 
underfoot of the Gentiles. What is their house, 
their dwelling-place ? The Scriptures ? Behold 
they read Moses and the Prophets, wearily, blindly ; 
they wander to and fro in the sacred record, but 
the veil is on their hearts, and as they do not dis- 
cern Messiah of whom the Scriptures testify, they 
find no light and peace there. Their house is left 
unto them desolate. What is their house ? Their 
beautiful Sabbaths, and festivals, the lovely Passover 


Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles, their solemn Day 
of Atonement ! Alas ! where is the Lamb which 
God has chosen, the blood of sprinkling for the 
remission of sins, the high priest to enter into the 
Holy of Holies ? They dwell in a desolate house, 
and cannot find rest for their souls, and cannot see 
the beauty of the Lord. Their house is left deso- 
late ; Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles ; 
the Scripture and the services are to them empty 
and void, without power and without peace. 
Ichahod, the glory has departed ; Israel's glory, the 
Shechinah ; for the glory of God is beheld only in 
the fiice of His Son Jesus Christ. . . . 

'' Israel, scattered among the nations, is a witness 
for God. They are the fulfilment of prophecy, the 
monuments of God's faithfulness and truth. No 
greater evidence for the truth of Scripture can 
be given than the existence and history of the 
Jews. Frederick the Great said one day, before a 
large company of sceptics and unbelievers, to his 
general, Ziethen, whose courage and loyalty were 
as well known as his simple faith and piety : * Give 
us a good argument to prove Christianity, but 
something; short and convincino'.' ' The Jews, your 
Majesty,' replied the veteran, and the company was 

"The future of Israel is bright and glorious, and 
bound up with the manifestation of Christ the 
Lord. Hence it has a special place in the Chris- 
tian heart. We cannot regard the Jewish mission 
as one among many missions. The nation has a 


position, central and unique, according to the 
Divine purpose. We cannot measure the import- 
ance of the Jewish mission by the numerical great- 
ness either of the nation or of converts ; we measure 
it by the value assigned to them in the Scriptures ; 
by the decisive love with which God regards them ; 
and by the special influences which tliey are to 
exert upon the whole world. . . . God's promise 
teaches us, that through the restoration of Israel 
the golden era of the world will be ushered in. . . . 
" When you think of the Q;race that has brouoht 
salvation to you, remember Israel, the nation of 
grace. When you think of the sweet sound of the 
name Jesus, remember it is a Hebrew name — 
Jehoshua, Saviour. When you think of departed 
saints and the heavenly city, remember that it is 
Jerusalem, in which as an emblem God hath shown 
you the eternal home. When after your petitions 
you utter the word so full of consolation and hope, 
— Amen, remember it is Israel who hath taught you 
the God Amen, who is the Hearer of prayer. And 
when, overwhelmed with joy and praise, you abound 
with thanksgiving to the God who hath done great 
marvels, and say Hallelujah, remember that Israel 
was the first, and shall again be the foremost, in 
the o^reat chorus of nations. . . . Israel's con- 
version will be a marvel of omnipotent love. 
When Ezekiel beheld the valley full of dry bones, 
and was asked, ' Son of man, can these bones 
live ? ' he felt that with man it was impossible, 
and in humility of faith he replied, ' Thou, Lord, 


knowest.' Yes, in their graves they shall hear the 
voice of God. He who can raise the dead and call 
them out of their graves, shall send forth His 
Spirit and breathe upon the dry bones, and they 
shall live, and stand up an exceeding great army. 
" Let us give then our aid to the Jewish mission, 
in faith, in love, in hope, and let us seek to enter 
into the mind of God, and to look forward to that 
great promise which all the fathers embraced, and 
held fast even unto the end. May there be given 
unto us also, out of that wonderful and infinite 
ocean of Divine love to Israel, a little love to God's 
ancient people. Amen." 

In a sermon preached at Belgravia on January 
18, 1885, and published under the title, 'The 
Everlasting Nation,' he says : — 

"Jesus came to the whole nation; Israel as a 
nation rejected him. Jesus, as we read in the 
Gospel of Matthew, w^as taking leave of the whole 
nation. He spoke to the Pharisees; He spoke to the 
Herodians ; He spoke to the Sadducees ; and after 
having given, as it were, the last word unto each 
representative part of the Jewish nation. He sums 
up all in that heart-rending farewell : — ' Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest 
them that are sent unto thee, how often would I 
have gathered thy children ' — the whole nation as 
a nation — * under My wings, and ye would not ! 
Behold, your house shall be left unto you desolate.' 
But the farewell is not for ever. It is a farewell 


only for a given and definite period. ' Ye shall 
not see Me, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that 
cometh in the name of the Lord ! ' The Saviour, 
ere He was crucified upon Golgotha, had in His 
own loving and sorrowing heart the living and 
assured hope that the same nation, which as a 
nation had rejected Him, would again as a nation 
welcome Him as the Messiah that cometh in the 
Name of the Lord. And after He had died upon 
the cross, and appeared again to His disciples, 
before He ascended up into heaven, He ratified to 
the apostles the promise that was given of old, 
that He would come and restore the kiugdom to 
Israel ; only not at the present time, because the 
dispensation of the Church had to intervene. 
Thus it is in harmony with the testimony of Jesus, 
which is the spirit of prophecy, that the Apostle 
Paul declares that all Israel shall be saved. 

''But as all Israel shall be saved finally, in the 
meantime God has not totally rejected His people. 
This the Apostle proves in the simplest and most 
obvious manner. If God had totally rejected His 
people, the prayer of Jesus on the cross, ' Father, 
forgive them; for they know not what they do,' 
would not have been answered. The prayer of 
Stephen before his death, * Lord, lay not this sin 
to their charge,' wouLl have remained without a 
divine response. Paul himself is the most striking 
illustration that God had not totally rejected His 
people ; for God had mercy on him, and revealed 
unto him His Son. We read of 3000 at Jerusalem, 


and afterwards 5000, and afterwards many myriads 
or ten thousands of Jews who had come to the 
knowledge of Christ. And during the first centuries 
the number and importance of Jewish Christian 
eonoreoations, who to a certain extent still ob- 
served the law of Moses, and in whom there 
lived the vivid consciousness of their connection 
with the Old Testament history, were considerable. 
Finally, all Israel shall be saved, and during the 
intermediate period of the Church God has not 
totally rejected His people." 

"Two points are thus given to us in the Apostolic 
teaching — Israel's rejection of the Messiah, and 
Israel's future restoration. In the destruction of 
eTerusalem and the temple, and in the dispersion of 
Israel among the nations, was manifested in actual 
history what to the eye of faith appeared already 
at the crucifixion of our Lord, when the veil of the 
temple was rent in twain. The arch of Titus, still 
to be seen at Eome, declares to the whole world 
what believers knew from the written Word — that 
divine judgment has fallen upon the nation on 
account of their unbelief. If we ask what, con- 
nection subsists between unbelieving Israel of the 
past and restored Israel of the future, between 
Jerusalem given into the hands of the Gentiles and 
Jerusalem restored, there are three facts which ac- 
cording to the divine Word bridge over the interval. 
In the first place, according to the Word of God, 
it is obviously necessary that the Jewish nation 
should remain in existence as a nation until these 


latter days. Their enemies must not succeed in 
destroying them ; their friends must not succeed in 
so favourino: them that they amalojamate through 

O JO o 

indifference and worldliness \Yith the other nation- 
alities. And also it is necessary that they should 
not be absorbed by the Christian Churches, so as 
to cease to exist as a separate community. How 
marvellously has all this been fulfilled every one 
can see, in the countries of Europe and of the Avhole 
world, where God has scattered His people. . . ." 

"As at the first advent, through the rejection 
of Jesus the gospel came to the Gentiles, so at the 
second advent of Jesus He will be received by 
Israel when He brings judgment upon apostate 
Christendom. . . . Through the Church indi- 
viduals are gathered out from among all the 
nations to believe in Jesus ; but it is through the 
nation of Israel that national Christianity will l)e 
established upon the whole face of the earth." 


We would here, as bearino- on the Rabinowich 
movement in which Saphir was so much inter- 
ested, give a sketch of the manner in which that 
interest was excited simultaneously, in Saphir and 
Delitzsch : — 

In 1871 Johanna Saphir, the youngest sister of 
Adolph, was married to the Rev. C. A. Schonberger, 
a Jewish missionary, first of the Free Church of 
Scotland, and afterwards of tlie British Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews. 


Mr. Schonberger had, when a young man, been 
converted under the influence of old Mr. Saphir in 
Pesth, with whom he remained up to the time of 
his death. He then went to the Mission House at 
Bale for a year, and afterwards to London, wdiere 
he attended classes in the English Presbyterian 
College, for a session. He next went to Germany, 
and completed there his theological studies, under 
the direction of the w^ell-known Professor Delitzsch, 
w^ho took an intense interest in the Jews and in 
Jewish missions. 

Delitzsch, when a ]r)rivat-docent in Leipzig, had 
been brought into contact with Jewish missionaries 
of the London Society, and from that time had 
been convinced of the importance of w^ork among 
the Jews. He himself also had received special 
kindness from a Jew, w^ho helped him in his edu- 
cation. We may note that in later years this Jew 
became a convert to Christianity, under Delitzsch's 
influence. There had been a Jewish mission in 
Germany in the latter part of last century, but it 
had been extinguished by the progress of rational- 
ism in the German Churches. Delitzsch used 
strong efi*ort, and with much success, to revive the 
interest in the Jewish work. He trained many 
students for it, and exerted himself in every way 
to promote it. Chief among his eff'orts was the 
translation into Hebrew of the New Testament, in 
w^hich he took a leading part. He prepared also 
commentaries for the Jews, and wrote many tracts 
and also pamphlets in connection with the anti- 


Semitic movement, in which he exposed the false 
statements circulated against the Jews ; and he 
founded anew the Institutum Judaicum, which 
has branches in many of the German universities. 
Delitzsch had a great admiration for Saphir, and 
was latterly in frequent communication with him, 
in regard to the Eabinowich and Lichtenstein 
movements, in which both were deeply interested. 

Delitzsch had taken a special interest in Schon- 
berger when a student, frequently visiting him in 
his lodgings. He afterwards, to the end of his 
life, corresponded with him on the Jewish work. 
Schonberger finished his studies in 1868, and went 
for a year or two to Pesth to assist Mr. Koenig 
and Mr. Moody. When married he was settled in 
Prague, where he remained till 1884 in connection 
with the British Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel among the Jews. Old Mrs. Saphir lived 
there with her daughter till her death in 1879. 

Mr. Schonberger has been one of the most 
eminent and successful of Jewish missionaries. 
He was in Prague for thirteen years till 1884. 
He had much influence over Jews — especially of 
the intelligent classes. Among^ his converts there 
was one who became a very effective minister, tlie 
Eev. A. Venetianer, Pastor of the Reformed Church 
in Rohrbach, South Russia, also two medical 
men, two merchants, and two teachers. In 1884 
he went to Vienna as a missionary of the same 
Society, where he laboured till 1890, during which 
period seventy converts were baptized by him. 


In Vienna he preached often to the German 
Protestant congregations with great acceptance. 

He made extensive mission tours through Galicia 
and other provinces. He visited Rabbi Lichten- 
stein in Tapio-Szele, Hungary, who, from the 
perusal of tracts of Delitzsch, had become convinced 
that Jesus was the Messiah, and w^ho was declaring 
his faith in Him, while still Chief Rabbi, both in 
sermons and writings. Many of the Jews were 
convinced by his statements, while others became 
hostile. It was a new thing in the history of 
Judaism for a Jewish Rabbi to preach in the 
synagogue that Jesus was the Christ. Mr. Schon- 
berger visited also Rabinowich at Kischinefi' in 
Bessarabia, and did much to stimulate him in his 
work there. His first visit took place in 1885, 
when he felt greatly delighted and encouraged by 
his intercourse with him. His report was the 
means of making the movement better known. 
Two years later he visited him again by request of 
the Rabinowich Council, which had then been 
formed in London, under the presidency of Dr. 
Saphir. In this visit he was accompanied by Mr. 
Venetianer. They found that the attendance at 
his services was as large as ever, and that Rabin- 
owich's influence had become far-reachino; — '"' Jews 
from all parts of the vast Empire of Russia reading 
his pamphlets, discussing his position and testi- 
mony, and corresponding with him, or visiting 
him personally, to hear more fully the divine 
message he proclaims." The Jews in Kischineft* 


had now accepted the fact that there was in the 
midst of them a Jewish synagogue, in which one 
of their bretliren, of unblemished character and 
eminent gifts, proclaimed every Sabbath that Jesus 
was the Messiah promised to their fathers, and tlie 
Saviour of the w^orld. 

Mr. Venetianer's visit to Kischineff resulted in 
the solution of one difficulty, the solving of which 
was urgent. Being the pastor of an evangelical 
church, recognized in Russia, he was able to baptize 
those who desired baptism. He wrote : — " On 
October 2, 1887, was held a missionary festival. 
Thousands assembled, and I baptized the first 
Kischineff convert." K fortnight later he baptized 
three daughters of Eabinowich. 

Mr. Leitner, another convert of Mr. Schonberger, 
now in Constantinople, visited Kischineff soon 
after, and gave the same encouraging view of the 

This work deeply interested Dr. Saphir and 
Professor Delitzsch, because it seemed to give 
promise of a wide national movement in the future. 
•' It must be viewed," said Dr. Saphir, " in con- 
nection with the present condition of the Jewish 
nation, and the light of the prophetic Word. A 
crisis is evidently approaching. Tahnudism and 
the attempt to modernize Judaism, and to reduce 
it to rationalistic Deism, have both fjiiled, and have 
proved themselves to be without vitality ; and yet 
the national consciousness has been roused by the 
recent anti-Semitic movement. The Jewish mission 


has been abundantly blessed, to a greater extent 
than is generally believed, not merely in con- 
versions, but in spreading the knowledge of 
Scriptural and vital Christianity among the Jews, 
and circulating the New Testament. ' Is Jesus 
the Messiah and Lord ? ' is not so much a question 
between the Christinn Church and the Jews, as in 
the first instance a Jewish question ; but appears 
therefore as an indication — a foreshadowing of a 
national movement, when we hear of Jews (how- 
ever few in number) who have come to the con- 
clusion that their dispersion and condition during 
the last eighteen centuries is the consequence of 
their rejection of Jesus — that Jesus is the promised 
Messiah, Son of David, and King of Israel ; that 
the writings of evangelists and apostles are the 
continuation of the Divine record entrusted to the 

Delitzsch, speaking of the movement, says, 
Eabinowich seems to be a church historical phe- 
nomenon, which revives our hope of Israel's ulti- 
mate conversion to their Messiah. Though not 
unacquainted with the dogmatic confession of 
Christian Churches, his type of teaching is Jewish- 
Christian, and his whole mode of viewing and 
expressing truth is original, being drawn directly 
from the Apostolic Word, with individual freshness. 

The Council formed in London to aid this 
work, which was constituted after Mr. Schonberger 
had given his report of his first visit, and at his 
suggestion we believe, was, under Dr. Saphir's 


guidance, enabled to help the work very materially. 
It is now presided over by Mr. J. E. Mathieson. 
At the beginning, in a few days, Saphir raised for 
it £800. There was no work dearer to his heart. 
Let us hope with him that it is the beginning of a 
great movement which will affect Judaism in all 
parts of the world. Other movements of a similar 
kind have since begun, in other countries. The 
general attitude of the Jews to Christ is different 
from what it has been at any time since Christ 
appeared. They no longer despise or hate Him, 
but rather glory in Him as a Jew. There may 
thus be a sudden acceptance on the part of 
multitudes of Jews, ere long, of His true Messiah- 

Of the Eabinowich movement Dr. Saphir says in 
a letter : — 

"The movement among the Jews in the South of Russia 
has entered into a new phase. I had a most interesting letter 
from dear Professor Delitzsch. He says he is quite ' electriified ' 
by the tidings. The Russian Government and the Holy Synod 
have sanctioned the movement, and allowed the Jews to form 
a Community called ' Israelites of the New Testament.' They 
are to have their own synagogue, with the Hebrew Bible (Old 
and New Testament bound together). Last Wednesday I 
addressed more than one hundred people in Mrs. Wingate's 
drawing-room on the subject." 

Dr. Saphir gives in a letter the following narrative 
of Eabinowich — 

" A Jewish advocate in the South of Russia wrote some 
years ago in Russian Hebrew periodicals about the moral and 
social condition of the Jews, the state of the Rabbis, &c., very 
high-toned. Then he weut to Palestine, at the time of the 


Russian persecution, and returned with this result : ' There 
is no hope for Israel but by restoring our Brother Jesus' 
H'S creed is very remarkable. He sees that the dealings of 
God with Israel culminate in Jesus, whom he regards as the 
Messiah, King David, Angel of the Covenant, (fee. ; that the 
New Testament is of Divine authority ; that righteousness is by 
faith ; that Christ's Death and Resurrection are the foundation 
of our life ; that Israel is punished for its rejection of Christ, 
and the Gentiles brought in ; and that there will be a national 
recognition of Christianity, apart from the creeds and organiz- 
ations of the Gentiles ; and the Sabbath and other parts of the 
law he thinks Jewish Christians ought to observe, not for 
justification, but as national ordinances. Of course he never 
dreams of Gentiles doing it, and if Jewish Christians do not 
observe them, he does not judge them. He has gathered a 
small congregation, and they are building a synagogue, and 
circulating Hebrew New Testaments. Pastor Faltin, in Kisch- 
ineff (an old saint), was in former years wonderfully blessed 
among the Jews. The Rabbi of the town was converted 
through him, and is now a Christian minister in North Russia, 
F. never thought of the Jew^s till a Christian woman in his 
church, who had been praying for the Jews for eighteen years 
before, said to him one day, * Do not forget the thousands of 
Jews in this place.' It is a most striking illustration of the 
fact that all movements of the Church originate in prayer, 
and often in the prayer of simple Christians, who by faith 
have a deeper insight into God's ways than the more learned. 
Delitzsch is greatly excited, dear old man ! What an example 
he is of humility and love. All the Jewish work he does is in 
addition to his University and Church duties ; he is Kirchen- 
rath. But it is impossible to see the position of the Jews in 
the Bible without feeling bound to the missions ; and how any 
one can believe the Bible as a true history — and not in the 
Jewish position, I can't conceive. But I believe this is part 
of the offence of the cross. . . . Contrary to all my expecta- 
tions, my Ganz Israel has been so well received in Germany 
that a very large edition is exhausted, and it will be re-issued 
and also translated into Danish." 


On May 24, 1889, the Jubilee Year of the 
Scottish Jewish Mission, there was a special meet- 
ing during the General Assembly of the Free 
Church of Scotland, to which Dr. Saphir was 
earnestly invited. It w\as a great gathering, at 
which the Rev. Dr. Wilson of the Barclay Church, 
Convener, the Kev. Dr. Robert Smith of Corsock, 
missionary at Pestli in former days, the Rev. Dr. 
Andrew A. Bonar, and one or tw^o Jewish mis- 
sionaries, gave addresses. Dr. Saphir thus referred 
to his own conversion and baptism : — 

''It is forty-six years this month of May since, in common 
with my clear father, then more than sixty years old, and my 
mother, my brother, and three sisters, I was baptized into 
the holy name of our covenant God. That day shines forth 
in my memory above all other days of my life — a day of 
intense solemnity, sweetest peace, and most childlike assurance 
of the love of God in Christ Jesus, which bound all the 
members of my family in a new and clear unity. Thovigh I 
am only eight years older than your Mission, I have the most 
rivid remembrance of its earliest beginnings. I remember 
seeing that venerable and loving man Dr. Keith when, on his 
return from Palestine, he visited my father, and the strong 
impression which he made on his mind. 1 still possess the 
English Bible which he gave to him. I remember the first 
meeting of my father with Dr. Duncan. It was in a book- 
seller's shop, and, by a strange coincidence, which my father 
pointed out to me, just after he had bought a work containing 
the fierce attack of a pantheist on Christianity. I remember 
the first Sunday services held in the hotel for the English 
residents at Pesth, when Dr. Duncan and Mr. Smith and Mr. 
Wingate expounded the Scriptures. The subsequent meetings, 
both in English and in German, are distinctly in my recollec- 
tion, so simple and outwardly unattractive, but so full of light 
and power, bringing the message of the love of God to eager 
listeners, I was present at the baptism of Alfred Edersheim, 


who only a few weeks ago fell asleep in Jesus after having 
rendered valuable service to theological literature, which will 
also be of use in Jewish work. I remember the baptism of 
Tomory, a missionary who has for more than forty years 
laboured faithfully among Israel. I cannot dwell on these 
memories, or attempt to describe the solemnity, the intense 
conviction of sin, the abundant joy in redemption, the great 
love and brotherly unity, which characterized that year of 
revival which so soon followed your first effort to send the 
gospel to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It was the 
love of Christ that constrained you ; but you would have had 
no faith and courage to found the Jewish Mission had it not 
been for your firm belief in God's word of promise, and for 
the unwavering and simple faith, without mental reservation, 
in the Divine authority of the Old and New Testaments which 
characterized your Church. Indeed, no mission to the Jews 
can have any vitality and permanence unless it is based on full 
and simple faith in the whole Word of God, from the first 
chapter of Genesis to the last of Kevelation : in the Old 
Testament, which is Jewish and yet as cosmopolitan as the 
Xew ; and the New, wliich, with all its universality, lays as 
much stress as the Old on the peculiar and never-changing 
position of Israel." 

Letters were read from Dr. Moody Stuart and 
others, among them one from Delitzsch, very happy 
in its closing allusion : — 

" Smith, Duncan, and Wingate went out from Scotland to 
witness to the Jews that the Crucified was truly their King, 
the King Messiah, the Servant of the Lord, ' by whose stripes 
we are healed.' They went forth, and the Lord Jesus went 
with them, and the pleasure of the Lord prospered in their 
hands. Buda-Pest showed in a striking way that there is 
a remnant in Israel, according to the election of grace — a 
remnant, according to the promise of Sion's Bestorer — ' I will 
lay the foundation with sapphires. ' " 

Dr. Saphir enjoyed his visit to Edinburgh much, 



though he was much struck with the changes that 
had taken place in Scottish religious opinions. 

At the Jewish Convention, held in Mildmay Park 
ill 1889, he delivered an address on the Jewish 
Mission, which set forth very forcibly its history 
and claims and present prosj^ects. He said : — 

The Jewish mission is of comparatively recent 
date. The Early Church soon lost the true under- 
standing of the Old Testament. In the Mediaeval 
Church the interest in the Jew was extremely 
limited. There was a paganizing of Christianity 
— an image worship, &c., which was especially 
obnoxious to the Jews. Bernard of Clairvaux, 
who of all Church Fathers came nearest to the 
Reformers, set before the Church that Israel was 
still beloved, and that the time was coming for 
her restoration. But the Jews were generally 
persecuted. Luther turned his attention to the 
Jews ; and many attempts did he make both to 
show to the Christian Church the position of 
Israel, as his famous tract shows, which is entitled 
Jesus was horn a Jeiv^ and also to argue with 
the Jews, and to convince them that that which 
they were most earnestly seeking had come 'already, 
and was treasured up in the Person of Jesus, but 
he was not able fully to meet that which was true 
in the objection of the Jews, the tenacity with 
which they held the promise given to the fathers, 
and their national position in looking forward 
to the realization of that great kingdom which 


has its centre in the throne of David. Then in 

impatience he gave up all efforts, and thought 

that it was of no use, and that they were 

altogether a rejected people. Since the middle of 

last century Christians have taken an interest in 

the people of Israel ; but always those who not 

merely thoroughly and cordially, and without any 

reservation believed in the Divine authority of the 

Scriptures from Genesis down to the book of 

the Apocalypse, but who accepted the scriptural 

teaching that Israel was God's nation, and that, 

though set aside for a time, there were still promises 

which must surely be fulfilled to them ; and that 

that nation had a future before it, when God 

Himself should interfere, and in a way wliich 

perhaps we are not able to understand, show forth 

His power and His goodness, and bring them again 

unto Himself in their own land. The interest in 

Jewish missions will soon decay unless grounded on 

the Word of God. 

Even the most shallow reader of Scripture must 
make a difierence between the Jews and the other 
nations. Their past history, the wonderful reve- 
lation which God gave to their fathers, the wonder- 
ful acts which He did for them, show this. The 
whole Scripture was written by Jewish hands. 
Jesus was of the seed of David, of the seed of 
Abraham. The Jewish mission of the present day 
is especially in harmony with the characteristic 
feature of the present stage of the Church and 
the world. The Mediaeval Church did not possess 


sufficient gospel light ; the Keformation Church did 
not possess sufficient prophetic light to go to the 
Jews. The great battle-field at present is the Old 
Testament. Never mind the apparent results, the 
difficulties, and the destructive criticism. 

The end of this conflict is sure. The Old Testa- 
ment and the New are one. The w^iole Old Testa- 
ment, the friend of the mission to the heathen, 
says : '*The idols shall be utterly destroyed." The 
New Testament says : "All Israel shall be saved." 
The Jewish mission has reached another stage, on 
account of the peculiar change which has come 
over Israel. When Israel rejected the key which 
alone is able to open the wonderfully complicated 
lock, the Old Testament, their own history, and the 
promises which God had given to them, it could 
not be otherwise but that they should invent other 
keys, and these keys had as it were to force the 
wards of the lock. Rabbinism for a number of 
centuries kept the Jews in its iron grip, but Rab- 
binism and Talmudism have become effete. What 
has been substituted for them ? Monotheism, but 
not Jehovahism ; the idea of the unicity of God, 
but not the knowledsfe of the livino- and the lovino^ 

o o o 

God. Monotheism is not able to satisfy the 
conscience, or give peace and joy to the heart, and, 
therefore, there are in Israel multitudes who are 
poor in spirit, who are hungering and thirsting, who 
have the consciousness that they are blind and 
miserable and wretched, and who are lono^ing; after 
the living water that will satisfy the craving of 


tlieir soul. Their attitude to the person of Jesus 
has been changed ; and to the New Testament. 
Formerly they would not touch it, but many 
thousands now read it. Eabinowich is a wonder- 
ful sign of the times, and the message which, as 
a Jew, he brings to the Jews, that Jesus is our 
Brother whom we sold into Egypt, has awakened 
a marvellous echo. The Jews have entered into 
a new phase. The field is prepared. 

Saphir's intense interest in the Jewish mission, 
and devotion to it, continued to increase to the end. 
One of the last wishes he expressed, during the few 
days that intervened between the death of his wife 
and his own death, was to return, at all events for 
a time, to his native Hungary, to visit the missions 
there, and to strengthen the hands of his Jewish 
brethren in the faith. 




Residence at Netting Hill — Services sought — Many Afflictions 
— Visit to Bournemouth — Happy Ministry there — Letter on 
Lux Mundi — Return Home — Last Sermon— Mrs. Saphir's 
Death — His Letters in regard to her Death and Funeral 
— His own Sudden Death and Funeral — Rev. R. Taylor's 
Funeral Address — Testimony of Rev. C. H. Spurgeon and 
others — Inscription on the Tombstone. 

DE. SAPHIE resigned his charge at Halkin Street 
in April 1888, and from that time to his 
death, three years later, he had no charge ; but he 
continued to reside at Notting Hill. In the winter 
of 1888-89 he gave the Lectures, of which we have 
spoken, at St. John's Presbyterian Church, Allen 
Street, Kensington. His services were frequently 
sought after. He preached in different churches. 
In this period there was often much depression. 
There were many afflictions. He felt deeply the 
death of the Eev. John Kelly of the Eeligious Tract 
Society, a friend of many years standing. Two of 
Mrs. Saphir's sisters died, and Miss Cavendish passed 
away. These events made a deep impression on 
the Saphirs, and seemed to give them a kind of 
foreboding that death was not very far off. Mrs, 


Saphir became much more fragile, and her state 
caused him at times great anxiety. 

There was however a gleam of bright sunshine 
before the end. He gloried in the preaching 
of the gospel, and he was most joyful, at every 
period of his ministry, when his labours were 
appreciated and effective. The Rev. J. W. Rodger 
of Bournemouth had to leave his work for a time 
on account of his health; and he arrani^ed with Dr. 
Saphir to take his place for the winter of 1890-91. 
Many old friends rallied round him there, and 
many, who had not known him before, were 
attracted. The church, which is a most prosperous 
one, was filled, and much blessing resulted from 
his ministry. It recalled to Dr. Saphir the old 
days of Greenwich, and his first years at Notting 
Hill, and his heart was filled with joy. He often 
took one or two other services in the week, besides 
that of the Sabbath morning, for which alone he 
was responsible. 

He thus wrote to Mr. Grant AVilson on December 
23, 1890 :— 

We are grieved to hear of your daughter's long and severe 
illness. We hope she, and you, and Mrs. Wilson will soon be 
sensible of the good effects of St. Leonard's. The weather is 
still unfavourable to invalids. My dear wife has scarcely been 
out of the house for the last month, and she has felt languid 
and deprfssed. I am thankful to say, though I do not feel 
stronger, I have greatly enjoyed the services here, and felt 
much encouraged by the audiences. I had a service this 
morning, and a collection for the Jews. The people are very 
kind. I have had a good many " eclectics," specially Church 


of England. I don't know whether you noticed in 27ie 
Christian two short paragraphs about my services, and extracts 
from sermons. Mr. Rodger and Session and people urge me 
very much to stay till the end of March ; but I have yielded only 
to remain all January. My dear wife's health does not seem 
to be improving. All the people T have spoken to like Mr. 
Rodger's preaching very much. McNeill preached here on 
Wednesday afternoon. He has great power, no doubt. I like 
him in private ; he is very simple and frank. Lady Grant 
came here for three Sundays. We were greatly cheered by 
her visit. Mr. Grubb, the great Church of England missioner 
in Australia and India, told me he had made great use of my 
book on Conversion in his missionary work. The Presbyterian 
Church here has a good position, but it depends exclusively 
on the minister's energy. . . But I must conclude. The year 
has had many sorrows and many mercies. May we be per- 
mitted to enter on the new year with every needful grace, and 
with calm hope ! 

His latest ministry at Bournemouth (says Mr. Grant 
Wilson) seemed a sort of renewal of the Greenwich days ; 
devout people from all communions rallying to him, and 
delighting in his ministry. The place he did not care for ; it 
did not, he thought, suit him or his wife; but his heart rejoiced 
in his work. It seemed to me like a glorious sunset, vouch- 
safed by His Master to His faithful servant. Then how soon 
after came the close ! We had been much in his prayers, 
as our only daughter lay in grievous sickness ; her life ti-em- 
bling in the balance for many months. Out of this valley of 
the shadow of death I wrote to him, the moment I heard of his 
wife's death, pressing him to come to us at St. Leonard's, 
promising him sunny rooms, perfect quiet, and no intrusion, 
and a godly nurse on our staff to wait upon him. But it was 
not to be. He was not, for God took him. 

In the following letter, Mr. Wingate gives an 
interesting reference to this period : — 

" We are just retvirned from Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, 
close to the Poet Laureate's residence. The blessing of the 


mission to the Jews had an interesting illustration. The day 
of our arrival, the otlier half of our lodging was occupied by 
a Eyde gentleman, a former mayor of that town, who reminded 
me of my residence there thirty years ago. He is a decided 
Christian, and told me he had met Dr. Saphir at Bournemouth 
during his last winter there, and lodged in the same house. 
He had been ordered there after an attack of pneumonia. 
He is about seventy. He was devoted to ^^aphir. Every 
Sunday, Saphir, being unable to walk, took him in the carriage 
to church. Every one of the services in the Scotch Church he 
attended. He was with him the day he left Bournemouth. 
When in Byde, thirty years ago, our next neighbour was 
Major York Martin, a cavalry officer and landed proprietor. 
His wife was Scotch, and serious ; the major the reverse till 
late in his life, when he came under the power of the gospel, 
attracted by his daughter's faith after we left, and was attended 
on his death-bed by the Evangelical clergyman of the Church 
of England. They had one son and one daughter, the latter 
a most interesting, elegant young lady, and most intelligent, 
but born deaf and dumb. Hearing we were in the island, she 
drove over to see us, and told me that it was through our inter- 
course tliirty years ago that she was brought to Christ. She 
had the original account by Dr. Keith of the origin of the 
Pesth mission, and had always kept up a lively interest in 
God's ancient people. She seemed very happy, and nursed her 
mother, now an invalid. She wrote to my daughter as follows : — 
' Please tell your mother and father that I believe Dr. Saphir's 
book, called Found by the Good Shepherd, was the means of 
much blessing to my late sister-in-law' (wife of Captain 
Martin, her only brother). She was telling me about it a fort- 
night before she was gone, showing me a passage in this book 
(p. 159) beginning with, 'Lord, remember me!' and said that 
she would like it read to her when she was dying. A few 
days after she passed away, and her wish was granted." 

In a letter to a relative dated Bouniemouth, 
February 3, he says : — 

" I am still here, though the place does not agree with either 


of us. But the minister is still abroad, and one of the chief 
members of the church who is very much attached to us is 
dying. I don't know how long I may stay on. I told them 
Sunday 8th is my last, but I may stay another Sunday or two." 

After speaking of family affairs, he refers to Lux 
Mundi. His relative was a clergyman : — 

^* As for Lux Mundi, I have only read an analysis of it in 
a German theological paper. It seems to me a thoroughly 
unsound book ; not holding the utter and radical difference 
between Truth, the Oracles of God committed and entrusted 
to Israel, "Revelation embodied in Scripture, on the one hand, 
and the thoughts, inspirations, and intuitions of men. The 
Eev, H. S. Holland does not seem to know what faith is, and 
views it (according to this analysis) chiefly as the subjective 
longing upwards, not as the fiducia, calling Jesus my Christ and 
Saviour, and given by the Spirit. All this talk about heathen 
sages and moralists being substantially Christians, bolstered 
up with quotations from the Fathers (who were poor muddled 
babies in doctrine, most of them), is very weak, and subversive 
of fundamental truth. * I am the Way.' As for the kenosis 
being an argument to invalidate the force of Christ's declaration 
concerning Scripture, it is painful to have such a mystery and 
speculation brought to bear on a simple and important practical 
point. But granting all the views of the kenosis, Christ viewed 
simply as a Prophet ; and the Prophet could not mislead on such 
a vital question. The distinction between self-made, subjective 
prophets, and those whom God sent (vide Jeremiah), and the 
very Mission of Christ, so often insisted on in the Gospels 
(specially John), to be the light, and to make known to us the 
Father, and all the Father wishes us to know, invests Christ's 
teaching with absolute authority and certitude. 

" This combination of High Chiirchism and Broad Churchism 
is like the rheumatic gout. On the subject of the Church it 
is high time that Christians should be taught clearly. It is 
astonishing what a failure the so-called Church has been at all 
times, a few bright glimpses of the Beformation period (about 
twenty or thirty years) and such-like once a century, excepted. 


This is a large subject, and I fancy you would think me too 
radical if I wrote more. I told a Ritualist clergyman once, 
The Church is quite as much a failure as an outward Institution, 
as Israel was ! It is very sad to see the Church of England 
so fearfully undermined and poisoned. Read Garhjle} Moses 
and the Prophets ; also Cave's Conflict of the StandjmintsJ' 

Saphir, it may be seen in this and other of his 
letters, rejected, as unfounded, the modern revo- 
lutionary criticism of the Old Testament of Graf, 
Kuenen, Wellhausen, and others, modified, but 
still adopted in its main outlines, by Driver and 
emphatically by Cheyne. He considered that its 
true basis was to be found, as avowed by Kuenen, 
the ablest of the critics, in the denial or imiorino; 
of the supernatural — the attempt to account for 
the history apart from God. He believed that it 
would speedily pass away, as the similar attempt 
of Friedrich Baur with the books of the New 
Testament, but that in the meantime it was doing 
immense mischief in the Churches, in the un- 
settling of faith, and that it was logically sub- 
versive of Christianity. He was much grieved in 
spirit and troubled in regard to this question, in 
his later years. In his entire rejection of it in its 
main features, he was supported by all converted 
Jews of learning, we believe, and by almost all 
the learned Rahhis, to whom Hebrew is familiar 
from childhood as a native tongue. 

The Saphirs returned from Bournemouth on 

1 Referring to a little book of mine, which he strongly 
recommended to a number of people. — G. C. 


Friday, March 13, both in excellent spirits, and, as 
many of their friends thought, looking better than 
when they left. Others, however, thought differ- 
ently. On Saturday evening his friend, Mr. Frank 
White, of Talbot Tabernacle, was ill, and sent to 
him, to ask him to preach there on Sunday morn- 
ino-. This he did. It was his last sermon. His 
subject, singularly enough, was " Enoch walked 
with God." After his wife's death he remarked 
how singular it was that he should have chosen 
such a text, little thinking, even then, that it 
would apply also to himself. 

Mr. Frank White writes as to this : — 

" You are, I believe, writing a biography of dear Mr. Saphir. 
May I say he preached his last sermon in our Talbot Tabernacle 
about three weeks before his death, upon the text ' Enoch 
walked with God.' It was noticed he stopped here, leaving 
his own departure to illustrate the remainder — ' And he was 
not, for God took him.' I was in very broken health at the 
time ; and with his oft-proved kindness he consented to preach 
for me, with only a few hours' notice. Many were struck with 
the singular freshness and power which characterized this, 
his last discourse on earth. May the special grace of God 
strengthen you in your good effort, that, thereby, he being 
dead, may yet speak ! " 

Dr. Saphir thus wrote to Mrs. Rodger after his 
return to London, on March 18, and about a 
fortnio^ht before his death : — 

" We got home on Friday, and I was feeling most tired on 
Saturday, when at nine o'clock at night a neighbouring minis- 
ter's wife called and told me her husband was rather ill, and 
so I had to take his Morning Service. 

"^I hope the weather in Bournemouth is better than here, 


so that you will not feel the change too much after the sunny 
skies of the south. The people will be greatly delighted to 
see you again, and I am sure you will have a very warm 
welcome. Although we both felt languid all the time — perhaps 
partly owing to the unfavourable weather, and the somewhat 
limited lodgings — we enjoyed our stay at Bournemouth very 
much, and shall always cherish a very pleasant and grateful 
remembrance of it. So many congenial and kind peoj)le turned 
up, also old friends — former hearers — that we felt greatly 
cheered. We became very much attached to dear Mr. 
Murray, and I am thankful I was able to see so much of him. 
He often spoke of you, and very warmly. His simple faith 
never wavered, and his delight in the Word of God and in 
prayer was great. I said a few words about him the Sunday 
after his death, and the congregation seemed much affected. . . 
'• My whole time at St. Andrew's Church was bright, and 
without the slightest even momentary cloud, and I do trust 
that it has pleased God to give spiritual blessing. I felt 
quite at home in the church. We got quite fond of Mr. 
Douglas. Miss Digby often came to the church, and we 
are greatly impressed with her thoroughness and devotion. 
Mrs. Dent and my wife became quite romantically attached to 
each other. Miss Jackson also we liked very much. . . . AVe 
hope you will have much blessing and happiness in your home 
and church, and all needful grace and strength. Mrs. East 
was extremely kind, and we enjoyed her frank and sensible 
conversation much. There is a dear bright old lady, Mrs. 
Millie, who was introduced to us by a friend at Montr eux. 
She is eighty-three, but very bright. Mrs. Hogue was also 
very kind in calling, &c." 

After this lie was attacked with influenza, from 
which he had suffered before. There seemed no- 
thing serious ; but Mrs. Saphir, as usual, constantly 
tended him, and she also became ill. With her the 
attack speedily passed to the lungs. At first little 
was thought of it ; but she became rapidly worse, 


and on the day before her death the case was 
pronounced hopeless. She fell asleep calmly on the 
morning of Tuesday, March 31, two or three weeks 
after the return to London. Her last message to 
a faithful servant was to take care of her master. 
We have two letters written after Mrs. Saphir's 
death. The first, on the day of her death, addressed 
to their niece, Mrs. Maturin, is as follows : — 

"My dear Leila, 

"My brain and heart are both ^^e^/'Z/iecZ — as I write 
to you of the awful loss I have sustained. Your dear aunt 
Sara passed away this morning at one o'clock. No pain or 
even struggle. We had both injluenza (I am full of ear- 
aches and deafness, &c.), and dear A. S. went to a separate 
room on Wednesday. Severe bronchitis, j^neumonia, con- 
gestion of the lungs, and weakness of heart made it almost 
hopeless from the beginning. Stanley Smith was not anxious 
till Sunday. Second opinion, Harvey, on Monday. She 
scarcely knew she was very ill — had no pain. I saw her to the 
very last, but she could not say a word. Before that she had 
said little kind things about Ethel's baby, etc. 

" Dear Lady Grant, the Jacombs, and the Schonbergers are 
extremely kind. I hope to hav^e the funeral on Friday — only 
a few friends ; and I am not able for anything, being still 
neuralgic, and have only Mary and Chickmoor. Both are 
very good ; so really the kindest thing is to have the funeral 
very, very quiet. 

" Your dear Aunt Sara is the most wonderful thing I have 
seen. The most perfect simplicity and childlike purity, and 
an expression of deep thought. It is most striking. 

" I cannot say more. I dare not think of the Future. I 
ought to be thankful for the Past and for Eternity. 

" Give my love to all the family. I am sure I have their 
sympathy. I could speak to her to the last of the Blessed 
Saviour, the love of God, and the perfect safety of Christ's 
blood -bo uo^ht flock. 


" God bless you, my dear Leila ! She enjoyed your last 
letter. Always yours, 

"■ A. ISaphir." 

The second letter — the last probably he ever 
wrote — was addressed on the following day, Wednes- 
day, April 1, to Mrs. Kodger of Bournemouth : — 

"My dear Mrs. Eodger, 

"I can only write a line, my head and heart are so 
sore. My darling Sara passed away yesterday morning, 
after a few days' illness. I began with influenza, and she 
followed, and had to go to another I'oom. After two days, 
bronchitis led to pneumonia and coDgestion of the lungs. 
Heart very weak. I knew of her intense danger only eight 
hours or so. She had no pain, and no idea of danger. She 
passed away most quietly. She looked at me, and listened to 
the few words about the Father and Saviour I addressed 
to her. 

" Dear Mrs. Eodger, I cannot write. She often spoke of 
you, and of Mr. Rodger's new start. She felt great affection 
for the Bournemouth people. A very sweet remembrance ! 

" If Mr. Kodger would ask the Christian friends at St. 
Andrew's to remember me in prayer, in my overwhelming 
sorrow and desolateness of heart, I would esteem it a great 
kindness. The Lord bless you both, and guide you day by 
day ! I knew my dear wife since '52 ; we were married in 
'54 ; and oh, what a treasure she was ! I have to give thanks. 
Her face was exquisite after death, the simplicity and wisdom 
of a child. My. dear friend — au revoir, as you said. 

" Yours sincerely, 

"A. Saphir. 

" P.S. — I am full of neuralgia and influenza. 
" I could not finish this till Thursday." 

On Friday was the funeral of Mrs. Sapliir. His 
attached friend. Lady Grant, was present in the 


house. A mutual friend states the following 
affecting incident, described to her with deep 
emotion by Lady Grant herself, just after it had 
happened : — " Lady Grant had brought a wreath 
of white flowers to put upon the coffin of her dearly 
loved friend. Dr. Saphir took it in his hand, 
and placed it himself and said, ' I will put this 
wreath on the left side near her heart.' And then 
he added, after a slight pause, ' and I wish now, 
before my dear wife is carried to her last resting- 
place, and in the presence of these few faithful 
friends, to say what I feel about dear Lady Grant's 
tender and unchanging friendship for us. The 
deep comfort of her warm sympathy and affection 
in hours of sorrow and anxiety cannot be expressed 
by me, for she has been more than a mother to us.' " 
He was deeply moved as he thus spoke. 

Dr. Saphir was forbidden to attend the funeral ; 
and his old and dear friend, Mr. Wingate, re- 
mained with him in the house. He read many 
of the letters of sympathy, seemed collected, and 
he gave utterance to the words more than once 
— " God is light, and in Him is no darkness " — 
showing his perfect submission to the Divine will, 
and his sense of the Divine love in the midst 
of it all. He had no anticipation of his im- 
mediate death. He had talked of leaving London, 
and said in connection with this, when told 
that a grave had been purchased for two, that 
It was unnecessary, as he would not remain in 
London. He had thoughts of returning to visit the 


home of his fathers — Pesth — which he had never 
seen since his boyhood. Knowing that he was now 
intestate, since he had left all in his will to his 
wife, he arranged that his lawyer should visit him 
on the next morning, at nine, to make a new will. 
He took supper with his brother-in-law, Mr. E. H. 
Perrin of Liverpool, who had come to the funeral 
of Mrs. Saphir, and was staying with him, and he 
went to bed apparently well. About four o'clock 
the servant was awakened by his knocking on the 
wall. She found him in great pain. He requested 
her at once to send for Dr. Stanley Smith, who 
was for many years a devoted friend as well as 
medical adviser. His sufferings continued to in- 
crease. He endured great agony for a time. Dr. 
Stanley Smith used every effort to save him, but 
the case was soon seen to be hopeless. He had 
been attacked by angina pectoris, caused by the 
sad excitement through which he had passed, for 
he never had had any threatening of it before. 
On his brother-in-law, Mr. Schonberger, speaking 
to him of confidence in the glorious promises, he 
gave signs of his acquiescence. He repeated to 
him several psalms. Mrs. Schonberger was also 
present at the time of his death. He passed 
away before nine o'clock in the morning ; his 
countenance most noble in death. His friends, 
who came anxiously to inquire for him, were 
startled by the intelligence that he had also gone. 
Thus, within four days wife and husband, so 
devoted to each other, had passed away from the 


scenes of earth. Many of his friends had wondered 
how he would ever get on without her, but the 
question was now solved. 

The funeral took place on Wednesday, April 8. 
The coffin was borne to Trinity Church, Notting 
Hill, so associated with him, and where so many 
had listened to his words of power. Dr. Sinclair 
Paterson, the minister, presided. The church was 
filled with many mourning friends. Dr. Paterson, 
Dr. Dykes, and others took part in the services, 
and an impromptu address, which was thrilling and 
powerful, was given by the Eev. Robert Taylor, 
ever a much-loved friend. The following account 
appeared of the funeral, and address, in Tlie 
Christian of April 17, 1891:— 

The deep and widespread feeling of sorrow at 
the unexpected decease of the eminent preacher and 
writer was manifest in the large and very repre- 
sentative gathering of friends at the funeral service 
last week in the Presbyterian Church, Notting Hill. 
Many members of the London Presbyteries were 
present, as well as the pastors belonging to other 
denominations, and a large body of former hearers 
and friends from diflferent parts of London. The 
pulpit in which Dr. Saphir had stood so often 
and delivered his wonderful discourses was draped 
in black, and a solemn, sorrowful hush seemed 
to brood over the congregation throughout the 
impressive service. 

As the coffin, laden with beautiful wreaths of 
white flowers, was being carried up the aisle and 


deposited in front of the pulpit, Dr. Sinclair 
Paterson (the pastor of the church) and Principal 
Oswald Dykes took their places in the pulpit, with 
brethren of Presbytery and other well-known 
brethren, grouped around immediately below. The 
service began with a brief but pathetic prayer by 
Dr. Paterson. Then was sung the hymn — 

" The sands of time are sinking, 
The dawn of heaven breaks," 

chosen because it was a favourite with the departed. 
Dr. Dykes read portions of the funeral service — 
pra3^ers breathing resignation, and beseeching for 
the sorrowing survivors the consolations of the 
Divine Spirit ; and passages of Scripture full of 
comfort and hope. During the reading, and 
throuohout the solemn eno'ao-ements of the hour, 
many in the congregation were bowed with grief. 
After another hymn — 

''Peace, perfect peace, in this cUrk world of sin,'' 

the Eev. Eobert Taylor of Upper Norwood delivered 
with much feeling a short address. He said : — 

Dear Friends and Fellow- mourners, — It is only 
a few minutes since I was asked to take j)art in 
this sad and solemn, and yet in some ways joyous 
and beautiful, service. Even though I had had 
long notice, I could not have felt myself qualified 
to express half my own sense, or yours, of the 
preciousness of the gift that God gave to us 
in our departed brother, or the greatness of the 
loss that we have sustained by His recalling that 


precious gift. Still less could I trust myself to 
give utterance to the feelings of affection and 
admiration whicli sprang up spontaneously, and 
continued during the whole term of my acquaint- 
ance with, and relation to, our departed friend and 
God's servant. And yet possibly it may not be 
inappropriate to say a few words, that, if they do 
not express, will at least suggest, to you who knew 
and loved Dr. Saphir as I did, what we owe to 
him and to the God who gave him to us. The 
thought of what we owe both to the memory of 
our friend and the grace of his and our Master, 
may well make us strive to imbibe those profound 
views of Biblical truth which he saw so clearly and 
preached so powerfully, and to walk in the foot- 
steps of his clear and glowing hope until we, too, 
see the King in His beauty, and see our brother 
transformed and glorified (yet not beyond our 
recognition), by the sight and in the light of the 
Master, he loved so well and served so faithfully. 
I suppose that when we heard — some of us 
only yesterday — of the singular, I might venture 
to say tragical, circumstances connected with the 
departure of those two — husband and wife — so loug 
and so closely and tenderly linked to one another, 
we were at first stunned and almost ap2:)alled by 
what seemed to us the mysterious though, no 
doubt, righteous and loving ways of their and our 
Father. And yet I assume that a very few minutes' 
reflection disclosed to us not only the singular 
grace, but, I would venture to say, the singular 


beauty of that Divine dispensation that severed 
these two, so long and dearly linked, and for a 
few brief days parted. It must have proved pain- 
ful to our beloved brother when, not the hand of 
death, but of Death's Destroyer and his dear Lord, 
unclosed from his fond hand that hand which his 
had so long clasped. But was it not gracious and 
beautiful when the same Lord came back again, 
and giving the solitary mourner His Own Divine 
Hand, led him too across the valley, and reunited 
those two, so suddenly and for so short a season 
severed ; then in that blessed union, not a marriage 
union, but better, and holier, and happier than a 
marriage union — to the Blessed Bridegroom of all 
redeemed souls, and to one another in Him, and 
with Him, and like Him, for ever and ever ? 


I cannot detain you by doing more than 
pointing in simple phrase to what you and I 
recognize and rejoice at, in the singular and pre- 
eminent gifts and graces of our departed friend 
and brother. It is true, indeed, as we are told in 
the Lord's own Word, that the sons of God are 
born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor 
of the will of man, but of God. And yet I do not 
do dishonour to the Divine grace, which is not 
only paramount, but in some respects alone in the 
wondrous transaction that makes a child of the 
flesh into a spiritual child of the living God, when 
I say that we can hardly fail to recognize and 


learn the influence of blood and of race in the 
spirit and teaching of our departed brother. He 
united in a rather remarkable way — in a way that 
was only possible to one in whom the blood of 
patriarchs, and prophets, and apostles flowed — the 
spiritual iusight, the sense of God, and of things 
Godly and Divine, peculiarly appropriate at once 
to the prophet of the Old Testament and the 
apostle of the New. In these days, when truth 
is thrown into the crucible, only, as we are fully 
assured, to come forth like refined gold, how 
precious to the Church of God were the teaching 
and testimony of such a man of God, filled with 
the Holy Ghost, and whose attitude towards Divine 
truth was ever, not philosophical, not scientific, 
but Biblical and spiritual ; who spoke as a man, 
who saw and who felt, and therefore who fully 
knew, the deep things of God ! And do we not 
rejoice to-day, that though his voice is silent now, 
his teaching lives in those precious volumes which 
he has bequeathed as his legacy to the Church ? 
Have we not often felt, as we listened to him, that 
the fire and fervour of holy Samuel Eutherford, 
and the depth and comprehensiveness of the great 
John Owen, were combined in this remarkable man ? 
This dispensation of the 23rovidencc of our loving 
Father, in many respects is sad and sore from our 
point of view. But in these days, when so much 
attention, especially on the part of our younger 
ministers, is being given to comparatively sub- 
ordinate and external questions affecting the Book 


of God, if this dispensation should lead our young 
men to baptize themselves — I might say to bury 
themselves — in the thoughts and inspirations of the 
great spiritual teacher, apostle, seer, whom God 
hath now taken to Himself, it will not only not be 
a heavy loss, but a great gain, first to the teachers 
themselves, and then to the members of the Church 
of God. 

I feel that I have trespassed too far, but I 
have just spoken what has come to my mind and 
welled out of my heart at the moment. I loved 
our departed friend with a very peculiar love. I 
admired him, and in other years, more than recently, 
I frequently enjoyed his delightful fellowship. I 
was charmed to know, as only those who came in 
contact with him in the confidence and all'ection 
of private friendship know, how the more solemn 
and thoughtful elements of his character were 
softened and illuminated by a singular gracious- 
ness and a flashing humour of spirit. We recall 
his gifts and graces, we bewail his loss, we cherish 
his memory, we consecrate ourselves anew to the 
service of the dear Master, whom he now sees face 
to face. And we resolve and trust that the kingdom 
of our Lord Jesus Christ shall be the great subject 
of our thought, the great object of our anxiety, 
of our eflbrt, of our prayer, till we too see Him 
in His beauty, where His servant now is — see Him, 
mayhap, as His servant, in glowing language, often 
pictured Him, when He shall come again in the 
glory of His Father, attended by His angels, to 


gather His saints into the light of His love, and 
to say to them : " Come, ye blessed of My Father, 
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the VA^orld." 

At the close of Mr. Taylor's address, prayer 
was offered by the Rev. George Elder of Greenwich, 
who succeeded Dr. Saphir in the ministry there. 
The hymn was sung — 

" For ever with the Lord," 

and the Benediction was pronounced (in tones 
never to be forgotten) by the Rev. W. Wingate, 
the oldest living friend of the deceased, and one 
of those who received Dr. Saphir into the fellowship 
of the Christian Church at Pesth. 

Mr. Spurgeon, who was so soon himself to 
follow, thus noticed his death at the close of his 
sermon, on April 12, 1891, one of the few last 
sermons of his wonderful ministry : — 

" Our dearly beloved friend Adolph Saphir 
passed away last Saturday, and his wife died three 
days before him. When my dear brother. Dr. 
Sinclair Paterson, went to see him, the beloved 
Saphir said to him, * God is light, and in Him is 
no darkness at all.' Nobody could have quoted 
that passage but Saphir, the Biblical student, the 
lover of the Word, the lover of the God of Israel — 
' God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.' 
His dear wife is gone, and he himself is ill ; but 
' God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.' 


This is a deep well of overflowing comfort, if you 
understand it well. God's providence is light as 
well as His promise, and the Holy Spirit makes 
us know this. God's word, and will, and w^ay are 
all light to His people, and in Him is no darkness 
at all for them. God Himself is purely and only 
light. What if there be darkness in me, there is 
no darkness in Him ; and His Spirit causes me to 
fly to Him ! What if there be darkness in my 
family, there is no darkness in my covenant God, 
and His Spirit makes me rest in Him ! What if 
there be darkness in my body, by reason of my 
failing strength, there is no failing in Him, and 
there is no darkness in Him ; His Spirit assures 
me of this. David says, ' God, my exceeding joy ' ; 
and such He is to us. ' Yea, mine own God is 
He.' Can you say, ' My God, my God ' ? Do 
you want any more ? . . . He is all that is good. 
' Light only ; in Him is no darkness at all.' I have 
all light, yea, all things when I have my God." 

Mr. Wins^ate wrote to the Jeivish Herald:—- 
In the death of Dr. Saphir, the Church has 
lost the prince of Bible preachers. Like Luther, 
he was a Doctor of Holy Scripture, and though 
dead, his thoughtful and spirited books, no less 
than his eminently helpful ministrations, will 
speak to many hearts the Gospel of Christ for 
years to come. 

From the hour of his spiritual birth to his 
sudden translation to glory last Saturday, grace 


reigned triumphantly in Dr. Sapbir. He was one 
of the most beautiful, heavenly- minded men of this 
age ; bumble, loving, filled with Scripture from 
Genesis to Ke relation — a mind unique ; highly 
educated in German, English, and all literature. 
The gospel, in all his sermons, was so interwoven 
with the Old and New Testaments, that without 
any " Apologetics," you felt every heresy answered. 
The "Word" was with him, the "Word of God," 
living, powerful, awakening, sanctifying, saving. 
Sincere Christians left the church rejoicing, feeling 
like the disciples at Emmaus ; the Scriptures were 
opened, and their hearts warmed by the Holy 
Spirit, Christ Himself being in the midst of them, 
fulfilling His promise, "Preach ye the gospel," 
and " I am with you always, to the end of the 

Mrs. Sapbir passed away in perfect peace. Her 
funeral took place on Friday. Dr. Saphir sat in a 
chair and received the mourners. After a short 
service all left for Kensal Green cemetery, leaving me 
in charge of Dr. Saphir. Being alone, we conversed 
about his beloved wife, already " absent from the 
body," but "j^i^esent with the Lord." He spoke of his 
last sermon (on Enoch, and applied it to her), and 
then said how the eleventh chapter of St. John was 
never out of his mind. "It abode with me," he said, 
"verse by verse, ever since I took ill ; but to-day I 
am calmed and resigned by this word, 'God is light, 
and in Him is no darkness — no darkness — no 
darkness/ " emphasizing it thus. I now took leave. 


handing him over to the care of his brother-in-law, 
neither of us dreaming that we should never 
again converse on earth. Next morning a message 
came, "Dr. Sapbir passed away in perfect peace 
before nine o'clock this morning." Lovely in 
their forty years' union, in death they were not 

A few days after the funeral of Dr. Saphir, Mr. 
Schonberger remarked, " I closed the eyes of Dr. 
Saphir' s father in Bud a- Pest ; I closed the eyes of 
Dr. Saphir's mother, who lived with me in Prague ; 
and now I am come to London to do the same, at 
his deathbed." Mr. Schonberger could not see the 
meaning of his return at first, but now^ it was 
all plain. He and his wife. Dr. Saphir's only 
surviving sister, carefully endorse the following 
beautiful thoughts from the pen of one who is now 



looking at all things from the heavenly heights : — 
" All the events of life are precious to one that 
has this simple connection with Christ of faith and 
love. No wind can blow wrong. If God but cares 
for our inward and eternal life ; if by all the experi- 
ences of this life He is reducing it and preparing 
for its disclosure, nothing can befall us but pros- 
perity. Every sorrow shall be but the setting of 
some luminous jewel of joy ; our very mourning 
shall be but the enamel around the diamond ; our 
very hardships but the metallic rim that holds the 
opal, glowing with strange interior fires." 

A German journal, devoted to Jewish missions, 
thus noticed his death : — 


" On April 4 of this year fell asleep in London, 
at the age of sixty, the Presbyterian preacher, 
Dr. Aclolph Saphir, the blessed witness of the 
gospel from among the people of Israel, the 
Christian writer full of genius, whose book, Christ 
and the Scriptures, won for him numerous admirers 
in Germany, the warm friend of Jewish missions 
in recent times, of the work especially of Joseph 
Eabinowich, whose financial support was chiefly 
dependent on him ; one of the ripest fruits that 
God has given to the mission during the present 

Many letters were written, expressive of deep 
sorrow. Mr. Cockburn, his aged and devoted friend, 
since departed, wrote : — 

" It has been a very terrible time. The loss of my dear 
friend and teacher and guide for so many years (ever since he 
came to Greenwich), is a most sore calamity, a great gulf in 
what remains to me of life ; and to how many more must it 
not be inexpressible loss ; and what infinite good has he not 
done in that life of most earnest work in the Lord's service ! 
Friends rightly term this sudden removal a translation." 

The Session of Greenwich drew up a minute in 
which it was said : — " Although many years have 
elapsed since the pastoral tie connecting him with 
this congregation was severed, his name is still a 
household word, and the memory of his faithful 
ministry is imprinted on many a heart." 

Dr. Saphir was buried in Kensal Green. The 
selection of the ground, and all the preparations, 
had been made by Lady Grant. There was a long 


procession of carriages, witli mourners representing 
many sections of the Church. The following is 
the inscription on the tombstone : — 




Born September 26, 1831 : died April 4, 1891. 

" I determined not to know anything among yon, save Jesus Christ, 
and Him crucified." — 1 Cor. ii. 2. 




Bom May 10, 1826 : died March 31, 1891. 

They " were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they 
were not divided." — 2 Sam. i. 23. 




The Christian's Walk — What a Beautiful Saviour I have — 
The Devil's Gospel— Going to Heaven — Little Steps — 
Answers to Prayer — The Bible and Nature — The Penitent 
Thief — God gives the Superfluities — Out and Out Christians 
—False and True Worship — Union with Christ — The 
Trinity — Beauty of Scripture — Jesus identifying Himself 
with Humanity — Preaching, what it is — Heaven's In- 
habitants — The Apostolic Church — The C.oss — Aflliction 
and its Blessed Influeuces — Keeping the Garments always 
White — The Lord's Supper and the Passover — Assurance 
—God in the Old Testament — Union of Christians — Joy 
precedes Peace — The Wonderful, Tender Love of God — God 
and Satan — The Jews — Faith and Prayer — Genius and 
Spirituality — The Body not the Chief Centre of Sin — The 
Apostles and Idolatry— The Apostles—" The World "— 
Preaching Christ according to the Scriptures — " Except ye 
become as Little Children." 

WE give the following selection of pitliy sayings 
and short extracts. Dr. Saphir had special 
power of expressing great truths in a few telling 
words, which easily fixed themselves on the memory, 
and we are sure that this selection will be read 
with interest. For most of these we are indebted 
to the quotations and ample notes of Miss M. H. 
Greenwood, who wrote out in fall, in many volumes, 
most of the sermons preached by Saphir, when 
minister of Greenwich. She has given a graphic 


account, which we have inserted in its place, of the 
effect of his preaching and ministry at Greenwich. 


" Don't fall into the clumsy mistake that all 
matter is carnal. Matter is not carnal. All created 
things come from God, and He also created the 
ear, the eye, and the receptive faculties to enjoy 
the beauties of His creation." 


'' The hymns we sing, how much do you mean 
of them ? Of course you say the words, because 
they go nicely to the tune, and that carries you 

' The dying thief rejoiced to see 
That fountain in his day, 
And there may I, though vile as he, 
Wash all my sins away.' 

But I tell you what you really sing in your 
hearts — 

' The dying thief rejoiced to see 
That fountain in his day, 
Much more may I, less vile than he, 
Wash my few sins away.' " 


Let your great delight be, to be in the company 
of Jesus, and then do whatever you like. 


When the whole self is dedicated to Jesus, and 
His love is ruling in our hearts, then is His 
dominion manifested in us ; if we go on in gloom, 


selfishness, and unbelief, where is the dominion of 
Jesus ? If under the dominion of Him who loveth 
us, it would be all sunshine, patience, submission, 
surrender of our faculties to God. Dominion of 
Jesus means that those under it depart from 
iniquity ; that Jesus, by the power of His dying 
love, be with us as a fire consuming that which 
defiles. Dominion of Jesus means that in God's 
strength we are not only to resist, but to overcome. 
And now as we come to His table, may we pray in 
our hearts, " To this Jesus be glory and dominion, 
and may the power of His shed blood and present 
love be made manifest in our lives ! " When His 
glory and dominion shine into our hearts, and are 
shown forth in our lives, then do we bring Him 
some new thing in which He rejoices. 


The one who believes in Jesus, and loves Jesus, 
can't rest satisfied till he knows also about the 
future of this God manifest in the flesh. It is 
easy to speak about a dead Christ ; all so-called 
religion is easy if we leave out God, the livmg God. 
Can any one earnestly try to realize God, without 
flying to Jesus as their Eedeemer and Shield ? If 
Jesus is a reality to us, and we believe that He is 
in heaven now, havino- died for us, and now lovino^ 
us, the question at once arises. Is He coming again ? 
If the Second Advent is ignored, it is not a doctrine, 
but Jesus Himself that is ignored. When faith 
rests on what Jesus has done, love goes forth to 


Jesus as He lives at present, and the soul that sees 
Him does not say, '' 1 ought to be religious," but 
" What a beautiful Saviour I have ! " 


What do those mean who are always seeking 
amusement ? They mean. There is one person in 
the world I hate — that is myself. Divert me from 
myself in any way — there is no rest, no use, no 
support to lean upon, no repose, no certainty. 
The ungodly are Sabbathless ; there is no rhytlim, 
no music, no harmony, no pause in their life ; but 
while we grieve to see them going their own way 
on the Lord's Day, we can't give them a command 
to keep it, for it is something much higher and 
more beautiful. LorcVs Day ! — the day of Jehovah 
manifest in the flesh, day of Jesus, the glorified 
Son of man, foretaste and earnest of that never- 
ending blessedness which we shall enjoy with Him. 

Reliever in Jesus, don't you rise on the Lord's 

Day a sinless, spotless man ? He died because of 

sin, He rose because of justification, and though 

the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young 

men shall utterly fall, those that wait upon the 

Lord shall renew their strength. On this day 

John was in the Spirit, therefore there was no 

doubt, or sorrow, or grief with him. He heard a 

voice speaking with him ; he had known Jesus on 

earth, and now he fell at His feet adoring, as one 

dead. The clay tenement could not stand the 

exceeding brightness before him ; but there is no 



terror that can take away the life of a believer, no 
glory can overwhelm it ; and so John lived on, 
because he felt the beloved hand of Jesus resting 
upon him. How^ well he knew that pierced hand ! 
Do i/ou know it ? And Jesus said as Jehovah 
always has said to His people, " Fear not.'' Why ? 
" Because / am Jesus." The world says, What 
do you believe ? No tvhat at all : tvhom do you 
believe ? And if you can answer, " I trust Jesus," 
that's all. 

THE devil's gospel. 

"Don't believe the devil's gospel, which is a 
chance of salvation ; chance of salvation is chance 
of damnation. Is God's love a love that will 
meet you when you die ? Is it a love that is 
waiting for yoic to do a number of things before it 
receives and embraces you ? JSfo ; it is love for all 
eternity, which reached us when Jesus died upon 
the cross ; love that you have Ijut to receive, and 
you are sealed with this Holy Spirit of promise, 
who is to be with you — keeping, assuring, sealing, 
training, comforting, enabling you to live to the 
glory of God. The seal has two as2:)ects — inside, 
' The Lord knoweth them that are His ' — outside, 
' Let every one that nametli the name of Christ 
depart from iniquity.' You are black, but comely ; 
poor, but Jesus is your riches ; weak, but Jesus is 
your strength. There is a secret acquaintance 
between God and you, and when you are gathered 
in with the blessed people of the Lord, Jesus will 


not say, "' I never knew you,' for even before His 
name was as music and fragrance to you. He 
knew you, quickened you ; it may be like the little 
maid, amiable and beautiful to man, but dead ; or 
like the young man whom they were carrying to 
his burial ; or like Lazarus, offensive even to man, 
steeped in sin. Jesus can say, ' I quickened you,' 
calling you by name. ' I knew you in doubt, cheer- 
ing yoa in sorrow, comforting and confirming you, 
as with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus.' 
" This seal is the earnest of the inheritance, a 
part of it, as an assurance of the whole. All other 
religions are like false bank-notes, issued on a bank 
that will never pay them ; but the promises God 
gives are not paper, but substance T 


" Does one ask, Are you going to heaven ? I 
am gone there. What is heaven ? Fellowship with 
God 1 I have it already. Peace in Christ ? Access 
into the holiest ? Love to all that love Jesus ? 
These I have already, truly not yet ia full measure ; 
but he that belie veth hath, and the Holy Spirit in 
us is the earnest. 

" In heaven we shall see the Lord Jesus exalted 
on His throne. The Spirit reveals Him now to the 
eyes of our ftiitli as the Lamb in the midst of the 

" Can sin enter there ? Can the accusations of 
the devil enter there ? AVill you be in peace and 
safety there ? Will you be afraid of ever falling 


out again when you are there ? Jesus says, They 
must have a little of all this now ; they must have 
it in substance, though not in degree. Is it not 
written, ' Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us ' ? 

" Won't we be sti^ong when we get there ? Won't 
we serve Him, and not spoil it as we do now ? 
The Holy Spirit is given that we may do our daily 
business for Jesus, and adorn the doctrine of God 
our Saviour in all things. Beholding Jesus is 
heaven. Ferfect peace in Jesus is heaven. 
Serving God out of love is heaven. Have you 
not got it all now, dear believer, by the Holy 

Ghost r' 


" If you will be simple, God will take little steps 
with you. It is wonderful, when a sinner comes to 
himself, all in himself is uneasy and wretchedness ; 
but deeper than himself will he find the everlasting- 
arms ; and if he digs very deep, he will find the 
mercy of God compassing him about." 


The prayers of the Bible are not notions in 
grand phraseology, but the prayers of men who 
spoke straightforward from the heart, in simple 
language, unto God ; the more simple the better. 
God answers in difi*erent ways ; it need not be in 
the way we expect. We pray that He would re- 
move a difliculty, God answers by giving more 
strength to bear it ; we pray to have a temptation 


removed, God answers by increasing our purity 
of heart, so that it ceases to be a temptation. God 
sometimes hears while we are speaking, as with 
Daniel, and sometimes He defers the answer. There 
is a beautiful saying in the ancient Church, " If 
Stephen had not prayed, Paul would never have 
preached." Thus our faith is a great reality not 
merely over the world, but a great reality with 
God. Simeon prayed all his lifetime, but it was 
only at the end of his days that the '' Amen " 


There is no book in the whole world that has 
such a tender affection for nature as the Bible. 
God loves His works. He knows they are very 
good, created by His dear Son, perfected, brought 
into living beauty by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
He knows what depth of thought He has put into 
them, that hidden thought of love, which was from 
all eternity : so that the heavens and earth, the 
trees and fields, all that we see around us, is illus- 
trative of some eternal and heavenly truth, and 
therefore w^e are often told in Scripture to look 
around and above us, that we may find out the 
hidden depths of God's love in the w^orks of 


People say he was saved ; but he will have a 
starless crown. I don't believe there is a minister 
of God who will have so many stars in his crown 


as this penitent thief, or who has been the means of 
saving so many souls as the history of this man's 
repentance and foith. How many from the depths 
of crime, encouraged by reading this history, have 
gone to the scaffold to suffer the penalty of their 
deeds trusting in Jesus, and who shall be numbered 
witli His saints in the glory everlasting ! 


This is not a case of people starving, as when in 
the wilderness Jesus fed them, or of disease and 
suffering; when He in love delivered them from it. 
This was simply a superfluity, a luxury ; they had 
no wine, and what does this mean ? — for it is a 
sign, and must signify something. That God 
created man not merely that he should endure 
existence, that he should drag through life, but 
that he should rejoice ; that there should be a 
happiness, a festivity, a gladness within him ; not 
only that he should be reconciled to his existence 
and have what is needful, but that he should feel 
within him a music, a rliythm ; that he should be 
able to say, It is a joy to live, He hatli crowned 
me with loving-kindness and tender mercies. So 
that in one sense the world is not wrong when it 
seeks for the ornamental and the beautiful ; it is 
an instinct of what is true, that God created us for 
brightness and glory. 


We must be out and out Christians, unmistak- 
able Christians. We are bidden to be strong, and 


ought to be, if the Spirit is the oil of gladness, if 
Jesus is the chief among ten thousand, if God is 
the CTod of all grace, and Father of consolation. 
Dear friends, either the world is mad, or we are 
mad. Tlio trutli of the riospel is light that comes 
down in lore. 


The difference 1:)etween false and true worship is, 
that false worship aims at forgiveness, true worship 
begins with forgiveness of sin. In false worshij) 
there is no thanksgiving ; true worship gives 
thanks for full remission, begins with praise, with 
Abba Father. 


There is a wonderful peace and calmness in a 
union which is not to be severed. For ever, Christ 
is ours. Here all is perfect. The whole Christ is 
ours — what He lived, what He suffered, what He 
is now, and what He will be. His past and His 
future is all ours ! And because we have this per- 
fection in Christ, we press towards the mark, and 
take more freely out of His fullness. My Beloved is 
mine. In this we rest ; in this we walk. It is not 
now six days' work and seventh day rest. God says, 
the first thing you must do is to rest in Himself ; 
and when one rests in Jesus, then we work for 
Jesus ; when we rest in faith, we Jive hy faith ; 
when we rest in love, we walh in love. Every one 
has a ojod. Something everv heart is lovino; • if 
not Jesus, none can rest. Rest then in Jesus, 


who is God's Beloved ; and when you see Him at 
Bethlehem, in Gethsemane, on the Cross, and in 
heaven interceding for you, then can you say, 
" My Beloved is mine." 


Only in a triune God, is perfect atonement and 
reconciliation. God was in Christ reconciling the 
w^orld to Himself. By the Holy Ghost, Christ and 
the Church arc one : He is in them, and they are 
inseparable from Him in life and death, in time and 
eternity. Thus the Church was to baptize into the 
name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In 
the very commencement of Genesis we are taught 
that God, who created all things, created all things 
by the Word, and that the Spirit of God moved 
upon the face of the waters. The doctrine of the 
Trinity is the great stumbling-block, to modern 
Jews ; and yet, as is shown, the testimony of 
Jewish writings to the doctrine of the Trinity is 
not inconsiderable. They derived it from the Old 
Testament, and many of them believed that the 
Messiah was to be truly God — though not the 
Father. In the Church there is to be obedience 
to the Divine law. It consists in a Divine love, 
it proceeds from the reception of redeeming love, 
it is formed after a Divine pattern, and it is shed 
abroad and kept in the heart by the Holy Ghost. 


Luther has said that when he looks at any 
Scripture passage he finds it so full of beauty and 


instruction, that it appears to him that every daisy 
becomes a whole meadow. And indeed it is so. 
Every narrative about Christ, every doctrine about 
God, every promise given to the children of the 
Most High, is inexhaustible in the depth of its 
meaning and its consolation ; every tree as we look 
at it becomes a whole forest. 

JESUS identifyinct himself with humanity. 

Jesus became man to remain man for evermore ; 
and when Jesus was living on earth His great 
object, the great task set before Him, was to get 
back again where He was before. He had left His 
position, never again to have it as He had it before, 
never again to divest Himself of His humanity. 
He had, as it were, cut off the bridge behind Him, 
by identifying Himself with our nature, with all our 
load of sin, on the Cross. Christ's object was to 
bring humanity not back to where it was originally, 
but where it never was before ; and as He came 
nearer to the great channel where He had to pass. 
He prayed God to glorify Him as He had glorified 
Him before. It was necessary that Jesus, to be- 
come the beginner of a great multitude of people, 
should be glorified, and on the cross He was glori- 
fied. Because He died and rose again. He could 
take His place on high, as the first-born of many 
brethren, as the Saviour of His people. Jesus 
knew that through suffering alone could He get 
back again into that glory, which He had with the 
Father before the world was. 



The preaching of the gospel, however legitimately 
allied to natural and mental acquirements, must 
always retain the mark of crucifixion. It does not 
become us to be orators. There is an element in 
human eloquence, which is not according to the 
gospel of Christ. Preaching is more than an 
exposition of Scripture; it is a reproduction of 
Scri'i^ture. It is the Word of God, and it is in- 
spired, though not as the Scriptures, — in which 
there is no admixture of sin and error, and which 
remains always the standard by which even apos- 
tolic preaching is judged (Acts xvii. 11). The 
gospel is preached with the Holy Ghost sent down 
from heaven. It brings light, it produces faith. 
What the preacher describes, the Holy Ghost 
reveals and bestows upon the hearer. 

heaven's inhabitants. 

Jesus is in heaven as a Man that can he seen 
in God ; the Father is represented in Jesus. The 
angels and the spirits of just men made perfect are 
also in heaven ; when we draw near in prayer, we 
behold also the dead saints who have fallen asleep 
in Jesus, for the dead also are linked to Jesus. We 
have no description of their place or condition ; but 
this we know, that they praise and adore God ; 
they are near to heaven, and whatever mysterious 
mission is assigned to them, it is theirs to offer 
unto God. 



The history of the Apostolic Church is the guide- 
book of the Church in every age — a Church full of joy 
and peace — the home of Love. Full of spirituality, 
and yet with the combination of liberty and order, 
all gifts were encouraged. The first great object of 
the Church is worship. The spirit of worship ought 
to manifest itself in all things connected with our 
assemblies. It is from worship, from communion 
with the Father and the Son, that the congregation 
is to o'o forth into the life of the week. The Church, 
renewed every Lord's Day in her resurrection-life, 
will then, durins; the week, live and work for the 


Without the Cross there is no Christ. The Lord 
is called Messiah, Anointed, because He is the true, 
perfect, and all-sufficient Prophet, Priest, and King. 
In this threefold office, Christ is the only Mediator 
between God and man ; in this threefold office He 
brings light, love, and life to our hearts. These 
three offices comprise His mediatorial work. They 
are inseparably connected one with another, and 
they all culminate in the Cross. His whole earthly 
life was a preparation for this Priesthood. It was 
on the Cross that He offered Himself a Sacrifice to 
God. He entered into the Holy of Holies by virtue 
of the Blood which He shed upon the Cross. Our 
Lord was continually looking forward to His death. 
While other men look upon death as the limit and 


termination of their work, Jesus regards His death 
as His great, His all-glorious work, the source and 
commencement of His true and eternal influence. 


Affliction is a school, but the Holy Spirit is the 

First, the full use of affliction is to make a man 
examine himself before God, and in doing so 
David found not only his sin but his sincerity. 
His heart was loyal to God, and though His gifts 
were withdrawn, the Giver was still beloved. 
Secondly, affliction gave David a strong heart. 
There is a paradox. Who hns a strong heart 
but he who has a broken heart, who loathes 
himself, and whose strength and joy is in the Lord 
of Hosts ? Thirdly, affliction developed the meek- 
ness of David. There was only One who needed 
no trials to humble Him in the sight of God ; and 
when John saw Him coming, a hero from the fight, 
he saw Him as the Lamb. Fourthly, affliction 
taught David patience. What is patience ? It is 
not imiifference ; it is not insensibility ; it is the 
standing erect of a strong, sensitive soul, under 
the burden which God sends. It is to see the 
hand of God and kiss it. It is the exercise of 
faith, never doubting the goodness of God. In this 
patience there is lioioe. There are many standards 
of suffering. First, I must suffer. Secondly, I 
am willing to suffer. Thirdly, I can suffer, God 
strengthening me. Fourthly, I am privileged 


to suffer. I glory in tribulation. " Tribulation 
worketh patience ; and patience, experience ; and 
experience, hope : and hope maketh not ashamed." 
Affliction worked in David, humility, contrition, 
strength, meekness, patience. 


God always told the Jews that they polluted 
themselves, by coming into contact with the idols 
of the heathen nations. What are idols to us 
now ? The religious opinion of the world, the false 
doctrine of the world, relying on outward things, 
the standard and the custom of the world, the 
sinful practices of those around us ; we must live 
in the world, but Jesus prays, " keep them from 
the evil." Christians must keep themselves "un- 
spotted from the world," and this can only be done 
in a twofold way ; firstly, by not touching the 
defiling things, abstaining from them; and secondly, 
when they touch you, by immediately resisting 
them. The command is to keep our garments 
always w^iitc. White is the brightest, most 
sensitive colour, shows most quickly and distinctly 
any touch and soil. We must have a high 
standard — pure, even as Christ is pure ; not clean 
only, but ivhite ; this signifies the perfection of 
the Lord Jesus, — always, not occasionally, but 
alivays. Do you ask, if there are such sources of 
defilement within and around us, how is this 
possible ? Answ'er : We must ahvays he ivashing 
them. This is the only wuv, continuallv ooino- to 


Jesus, and asking Him, by the power of the Holy 
Ghost, to apply to our heart the power as well as 
the merits of His all-sufficient atonement. This 
implies sensitiveness. The experience of the 
Christian must always be that he becomes more 
alive to the impurity of the world, within aod 
around him. 

THE lord's supper AND THE PASSOVER. 

The institution is mentioned in the three first 
gospels, but not in John. It is omitted there for 
three reasons, but chiefly because throughout John, 
more than any other part of the New Testament, 
the spiritual meaning of the Lord's Supper is dwelt 
upon. Jesus is spoken of as the Bread of Life and 
the Water of Life. It is extraordinary that this 
ordinance, so simple in itself, has been so misunder- 
stood. Jesus gave it as a plain explanation of 
something more difficult, and instead, it has been 
made a mystery. The Romish Church has made it 
a sacrifice, while the sacrifice has been once made 
for ever. But, what is still more wonderful, 
people have made it a cause of discord and 
separation ; while it is intended as a feast of love 
and union. People will hear the Word preached, 
join in prayer, and yet not break the bread and 
drink the wine together, which shows that they 
do not see that it is the Lord's table, and not 
the Presbyterian, Episcopal, Independent, Baptist 
table ; and while they are meeting together, they 
arc all the time spiritually partaking of the Lord's 


JSupper, by leediDg upon Jesus in their hearts by 
faith. It is often celebrated unlike a supper, 
people going few at a time, kneeling at an altar. 
Altars should be done away with. There is no 
priest but One, God's High Priest, entered into the 
heavens for us, except in the sense of Kevelation i. 6. 
The true idea is that of a supper, a family brother- 
hood uathered tooether. with Jesus Christ as the 
Headj presiding by the power of the Holy Ghost. 
It is also clearly connected wdth the Passover, thus 
linking the Old and New Testaments. " With 
desire, have I desired to eat this jt^assorer with 
you." The Passover was a united family festival, 
where the father presided, and at a certain part of 
the feast, the youngest asked the meaning of it all, 
and the story of God's love and mercy was given. 
Luke xxii. 16th relates to the rejoicing before 
the God of Israel as a united f^imily when they 
are restored, and the 20th verse to the cup of 
benediction. " This is the New Testament in My 
blood." Jesus wished to assure them that though 
He was going to ascend into heaven, yet He was 
still to be their Head, and the real presence they 
would still have, though He was to be in glory. 
And to assure their hearts that He, their Master, 
w^as still present with them, they were to break 
bread and drink wine in remembrance of Him. 


There come times when all your past experience 
seems taken away from you. You can't remember ; 


at least you can't appropriate, you can't realize it. 
It is as though we had never ate and drank of 
what Christ gives us. We have no joy with which 
to rejoice. This also is an experience, through 
which all God's people have come. This is the 
wonderful thing in the Prophets and Psalms. God 
does not put before us the image of His saints as 
they ought to be, but as they were — all their 
tears and failings and complaints and feelings of 
desertion and groanings. 

I fear many things are said of assurance that 
never ought to have been said. It is very difficult 
to speak of assurance, so as not to distress the 
truly godly, and not to puff up those who think 
they are rich and have need of nothing. The Lord 
will satisfy the hungry ; He will raise up those 
that are bowed down ; He will feed them just 
because they are hungry ; He will strengthen 
them, just because they are weak. 

After Jacob had gained the victory over Jehovah 
and been called Israel, how did he go on all his 
life '^ Not as a hero triumphant, but he went 
halting. Many would like always to be singing 
*' Hallelujah ! " to have entered already the land of 
promise and glory, to put aside the weapons of 
their conflict. So was it not with the old saints. 
Don't you be discouraged when you are weak, 
when you cry out of the depths in your helpless- 
ness, when you experience that there is another law 
within you, striving against the Spirit of life within. 
The Lord is revealing to you your weakness and 


nothingness. Jesus is cleansing and sanctifying and 
comforting and strengthening you. He is saying 
iifresh to you to-day, " Tuy sins are forgiven thee." 


In the character of God, as described by Moses 
and the prophets, there are two elements \Yhich it 
is difficult to combine — that God loves the sinner, 
and God ahhors evil. God is justice, holiness, and 
truth. At the same time He is infinite tenderness, 
mercy, and compassion. It is difficult to know 
which element is brouo;ht out most stronrfy in the 
Old Testament. Where will you find such ex- 
pressions as you find in Moses, the Psalms, and 
Prophets, about the tenderness of God, (if I may 
so speak,) the sufi*erings of God ? " You have 
ivearied Me with your transgressions." '' How 
shall I give thee up, Ephraim ?" ''Oh, that My 
people had hearkened unto Me, I should soon have 
subdued their enemies," &c. And the same tender- 
ness and compassion which is manifested in Jesus, 
is also in Jehovah, Jesus sighs and weeps over 
the ravao'es of sin, and over human sufterinsf. It 
is what Jehovah does in the Old Testament. If 
the holiness and compassion of God are to be 
reconciled, it is evident that the sword must fall 
upon some one, and how wonderful it is, when we 
see in Jesus, God and man, the love and holiness 
of the Father, the tenderness and compassion of 
the Father — unite, and in our nature, for our 
good, in our stead. 

A A 



The union of Christians is marred not by giving 
too much importance to little things, but by not 
keeping sufficiently prominent' the great things. 
Did it ever strike you that the early Christians 
also diflfered on minor points, for which now-a-days 
it would be thought quite necessary to make a new 
sect ? but they were so absorbed in thinking that 
they knew God as their Father, that Jesus was 
their Saviour, that they were possessors of the 
Holy Ghost, that nothing could separate them. 
Thus it is that when we go to a meeting where 
Christians meet as Christia7is, we feel as if we lost 
our asthma, we can breathe. 

Christianity without Christ does not exist. 
There is nothing in it, except as you connect it 
with the living, risen One in heaven. 


The first thing that God gives us is joy, and 
then out of this joy comes calmness, fortitude, 
equanimity. Paul says, " Rejoice in the Lord, 
and again, rejoice" — and then afterwards, "Be 
careful for nothing." It is perfectly correct that 
we have joy and peace in believing, but joy comes 
first. How can I be in peace, and calm, and quiet, 
in the midst of all that disturbs me, unless I know 
that I have something much better, and more 
glorious ; unless I know that I have found the pearl 
of great price, that I possess a better country, that 
is a heavenly ? 


When we first believe in Jesus, joy fills our 
hearts ; we are delighted, astonished ; — how beauti- 
ful, we say. Then comes peace. God will console, 
will keep, will strengthen ; and in all after diffi- 
culties it is the same. Let the joy of God fill our 
hearts, and we are at peace. Therefore the only 
ordinance that is of continual recurrence in the 
church is festival, not fast, so that in the w^ilderness 
we sing praises and give thanks, because all is of 
grace. God is indeed our portion ; but it requires 
faith to rejoice in God. If we can in any wise 
take hold of this, *' God is mine " — only think of 
it ! — then surely we shall rejoice. 


Let me ask you, Have you ever thought of 
this wonderful, tender love of God ? God has to 
be so gentle and tender with us, to put away 
everything that can ruffle our hearts or minds, 
to speak to us as it were with hushed breath, to 
have the tenderness of a nurse dealing with the 
jDCevishness of a little child. He touches us with 
the delicacy and tenderness with which you would 
touch one, covered with wounds and sores. God 
invites us so simply ; just asks us to turn round to 
Him, as if He existed for us. Can any one say 
to God, " True, you invited me, but in such a way 
that it hurt me. I knew you would receive me, 
but I thought it would be with fault-finding " ? 
Can any one say that ? It is wonderful how God 
says to us, " Only come to Me, only turn to Me, 


only give Me a look," and if we look unto Him 
He receives us. 

The Kock of Ages, Jesus, is not of yesterday ; 
His goings forth were of old. " Before Abraham 
was, 1 am." By Him the world was created, and 
before creation the Eternal Wisdom was with th(^ 
Father, and was His delight. Older than time, 
stretching back into eternity, '' Jesus Christ is the 
same, yesterday, to-day and for ever." 

In the Eternal Counsel of God, before the 
foundations of the world were laid, He was the 
Lover of mankind, and in the fullness of time He 
went forth, full of compassion, and died npon the 
cross for sinners, that He might give eternal life to 
all the poor and needy that put their trust in Him. 


God draws ; Satan only tempts. All the evil 
influences which prevent our approach to God do 
not deserve to Ix' compared with the attractive 
power of God. 1 dare not speak lightly of the 
innate love of sin and the world, or of the tendency 
of fallen human hearts to gravitate to the earth, 
or of the force of habit, or of the fascination of that 
enchanted ground, this present age, which lulls 
us to sleep, or of the subtlety and power of Satan. 
No ; these are great and potent influences, but 
nothing when contrasted with God. Satan, and all 
evil under and with him, cannot prevail. Satan is 
puwerful, but not omnipotent; he is cunning, but 
neither omniscient nor wise. He has an ally 


within us, even sin; but he has never yet under- 
stood a human heart. God alone can search the 
heart ; He ah)ne can draw it, can open, can melt, 
can fill it. Satan has no right, no claim on me, on 
my nature, on my will, on my affections. How- 
ever wicked and polluted a human being may 
be, it is not his nature to be evil. And though 
he be so deo'raded as to feed the swine in the far 
country, that dark citizen has no real claim on 
him, and no true affinity with him. Man's heart 
was created for the love of God, and will only be 
happy there. The eye of . His soul was made to 
behold the sun, and to rejoice in the light. And 
fallen though he be, his very mercy proves his 
original grandeur. Let us remember that God 
created man in His imao^e. Let us never foro;et 
that at the right hand of God is the Man Christ 
Jesus. Let us behold ourselves not in the wreck 
and ruin of our fallen condition, not in the mirror 
of the world and of Satan, but in the mirror 
of the hope of the resurrection, when the purpose 
of God will be fulfilled in us, and we shall be con- 
formed to the imag-e of His Son. When the trans- 
forming power of the precious blood of Christ shall 
be made manifest on the resurrection morn, then 
shall arise, with transfigured and spiritual bodies, 
true human beings full of love and truth, without 
a single spot, blemish, or wrinkle, holy ond pure, 
like Christ. If it be so, look upon evil as judged, 
condemned, and slain ; upon Satan as bound and 
cast out. He cannot draw, he cannot reach the 

366 THE JEWS. 

iamost depths of yourself; he has no right over 
you ; he has no power except the power you give 
him. Only resist ; only show your face as conscious 
of your Divine origin ; only adore God, and Satan, 
powerless and abashed, will flee from you. There 
is no real connection between us and Satan. 

Ah ! how different it is with God ! He is the 
Magnet. We are His offspring. He is able to 
dtvell m us, and to make us dwell in Him. He 
draws with an irresistible power, and yet He does 
not force or compel us ; He sets us free when His 
love subdues our heart. He restores us when He 
takes possession of our souls. He is our rightful 
Lord ; He alone is the King whose it is to rule, 
and His rule is love. 


There is a Book different from all other books. 
There is a nation different from all other nations. 
There is a Man different from all other men. 

There are about seven millions of Jews existinof 
at the present time. That they are the descendants 
of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, is beyond all 
doubt and question. Other nations have passed 
away. Though speaking the various languages of 
the world, and accommodating themselves to the 
various usages and customs of the nations among 
w^hom they live, they have sustained their national 
peculiarity, not merely their physical, but still 
more their mental and spiritual features. That 
they exist is a miracle ; but that they are what 
they arc is still more w^onderful. In the field 


of abstract thought they produced a Spinoza ; in 
music, a Mendelssohn ; in poetry and light literature, 
in politics, in the exact sciences, in every branch 
.of thought and modern civilized life they have 
shown themselves quite able to compete with any 


Amen is the voice of faith. We must pray not 
only in the name of Christ, but pray believing that 
we shall receive our requests ; faith and prayer are 
almost the same. The vibration of faith is prayer, 
the music of faith is prayer, faith is the very soul 
of prayer. When faith becomes vocal, that is 
prayer. Take the case of Elijah : "As the Lord 
God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there 
shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according 
to my word." James (v. 17) explains the matter. 
Why have we so little faith in prayer ? Because 
we keep that old philosophical idea, that prayer 
influences us, and not God ; that it was all settled 
long ago, and our praying will make no difference ; 
that we should pray and relieve our minds, pray 
till we are soothed. If that is true there need be 
no God to pray to. We might as well pray to the 
air. Prayer is to influence God. We must look 
on prayer as pre-ordained from all eternity by God 
to be a law, a force in the world, as much as any 
other force in nature or in history. Prayer is a 
link in the wonderful chain fixed in God's own 
love, on the one hand, and in man's action, on the 



The natural or merely psychical man does not 
understand sphitual things. He deems them foolish- 
ness ; earth and the lower sphere of reason and 
feeling satisfy him. But among the psychical men 
are some who break through the circle of nature 
and science into a hig^her reoion. We call these 
men of genius. But with all their power of thought 
and imagination, they cannot lift themselves above 
"the world." Faith alone is tlie victory which 
overcometh the w^orld. The Spirit of God alone 
changes ns into spiritual m(3n. Genius is often, to 
the more thoughtful and noble-minded, the substi- 
tute for God's revelation. The}^ know and love 
that which is " spiritual." And in many views and 
exj^ressions there is necessarily a similarity between 
the man of genius and the spiritual man, because 
lioth are opposed to the lower sphere of the visible. 
But there is a, radical opposition between the 
psychical man who has not the mind of Christ, and 
the spiritual. And as the age advances, the cod- 
flict between Christ's Church and the world will 
become more what it was in the Apostolic times; 
between the foolishness of God and the wisdom 
of man. Paganism, the w^orship of the created 
(spirit) — the self-sufficiency of man, axjTapxsia — 
man, being a god to himself — is the spirit of the 
world. Hebraism, or Jehovahism, and Hellenism, 
are the opposing principles. 



There is no opposition Ijetween body and 
spirit ; Christ has a body now, and yet He is 
Spirit. His body also is spiritual, full of glory, 
light, and power. There are spirits without bodies, 
and some of them are devils. " Carnar' is often 
coufounded with bodily. Views are sometimes 
suspected as ''carnal" which are scriptural and 
spiritual. " The end of all God's ways is embodi- 
ment," is a fruitful saying of Otinger. God prepares 
a body for Christ. There is a place of glory for 
the glorified ; there is an outward and visible 
kingdom yet to appear, ushered in by signs aod 
wonders, even as there is a spiritual and invisible 
kingdom, which cometh not with observation. The 
two kino'doms are one. 



The commission to teach all nations shows the 
universality of His power and claim, the unity 
of the race, the final conquest of the world. And 
so the Church planted by Christ is to be filled 
with love to all men. The commission is to teach. 
The Word of God is the lesson. This teaching or 
preaching was the great commission of the Church. 

It was the highest office of an Apostle. Both 
Apostolic missions and modern missions have 
proved that there is no nation so sunk in idolatry 
and vice, so degraded and ignorant, but the Word 
of God is able to penetrate the darkness, with 
enlightening and healing power. The Word is 


the sword ; let it not be sheathed and rendered 
powerless, in the ceremonies and traditions and 
concealments of human adaptation and policy. 
The truth can make all men free ; we have no 
right to bring them into our intermediate region 
of tutelage and bondage. How flimsy appear the 
defences of pictures and ceremonies, when con- 
sidered in the light of Scripture ! Did the Apostles, 
coming to idolatrous, rude, and uncultivated tribes, 
find it necessary to have recourse to images and 
ritual ? Did they think it wise and right to keep 
the people in a state of infantine passiveness and 
mechanical obedience ? Did Paul present to the 
idolatrous Ephesians half-truths, and give them 
a scanty instalment of the doctrines of life ? No ; 
he declared to them the whole counsel of God. 
The Church is a witness and light sent by Christ, 
and the Word, which she hath received from her 
Lord, she giveth to the world. The Church is 
where the Word of God is. The Reformers spoke 
very clearly and emphatically on the true character 
of the Gospel ministry. 


Next to Christ Himself, there is nothing more 
wonderful than these Apostles. A general shows 
his discrimination, shows that he is a general, by 
apyjointing suitable men to different positions. 
The Lord Jesus set apart twelve men. He waited 
for the Father to send them to Him — men who 
should do His work after He had departed ; so 
they had always to be with Him, because the}' 


were to be witnesses for Him ; pillars on which 
the Church is to rest ; great soldiers who should 
go forth without swords to fight great battles. 
They were also to perform miracles. Jesus waited 
till His Father sent them to Him, and then He 
thanked God for them. He chose them with 
infinite wisdom. There was great variety of 
character among them, but one thing attaches to 
them all, even to Judas — great energy and decision. 
Very various are their characteristics ; Peter warm- 
hearted and excitable : John and James, called the 
sons of thunder, very ambitious, but it was a 
good ambition ; they wanted to sit one on the 
right hand and the other on the left hand of 
Christ in His Kingdom ; and wdien asked if they 
could be baptized with His baptism, they said, 
We can." There was Nathanael, called also 
Bartholomew ; and Thomas, melancholy by the 
very force and intensity of his love. Of some 
we know nothing ; let us learn from this that 
some do work, which no one knows about ; it is 
not to be talked about ; but still, if we only stand 
on the muster-roll of the great Master, it is there. 
Judas was also chosen? Why? What blessed 
lessons we have here ! Xo one can fall into false 
security who remembers that, even among the 
twelve Apostles, there was Judas. Already had 
Christ said, ''Ye shall sit on tw^elve thrones, judging 
the twelve tribes of Israel." Could Judas not say, 
" There is a seat for me as well as for the rest " ? 
Dear friends, we may be among the number of 
the disciples, hear the precious promises, but still 



we need the warning to be careful and watchful, 
" working out our own salvation with fear and 
trembling." There is no such thing as a title-deed 
way to heaven. We can't see our title clear, 
except hy constantly looking to Jesus. What 
affection Jesus bore them ! He was like a mother 
to them. He sometimes rebuked them for their 
ignorance and slowness of heart. Yet, notwith- 
standing all the sorrow they gave Him, how He 
treated them ! He always left them at liberty. 
" Will ye also go away ? " He had fastened them 
to Himself. How He delighted in them ! How 
eager He w^as to praise them ! Learn how mag- 
nanimous He is, notwithstanding all our faithless- 
ness and sin. The Lord Jesus trusts us. He 
wants to bring out the peculiar grace and treasure 
Lie has entrusted to each of us. " Whom say ye 
that I am?" He expects their answer will dis- 
tinguish them from the rest — they will have a 
different view of Jesus, the Son of man. 

"the world." 

The world is often spoken of, and it is an expres- 
sion that is used very superficially ; but we should 
know what it means. God loves the world ; it 
is very beautiful and very good. Not nature only, 
but the various institutions among men ; God has 
Himself created the family, the government, the 
power with which He has gifted man, his intellect 
and imagination, and the powers which result from 
the combination of men. God loves all this. He 
honours it, and stands by it. Whenever we see 

THE world: 373 

anything orderly, sensible, disciplined, it is of God, 
even though it be among the unconverted. There 
is a sense in which God loves the world — science, 
art, politics, and knows all that is going on. There 
is a sense in which God hates the w^orld — all that is 
sinful, unholy, impure. So far as the world is 
based on God's creation, He loves it; so far as it 
is based on the hdl. He hates it. 

The first danger is, to say that all material things 
are worldly — science, art, commerce, army, navy, &c. 
Not so ; they are God's institutions. He is not an 
enemy but a friend to them, and in this sense it 
is the duty of a Christian not to be cowardly, but 
to go in and take possession. True ! it is a lower 
sphere, but God has put us there, and He influences 
us, by all around us. The Church is to keep separate 
from that which is sinful ; but what is sinful ? We 
must not think we are keeping separate from the 
world, when we absent ourselves from a certain 
society, and things in it. There was a time when 
Christ said, " Get thee behind Me, Satan," so that 
we may be in the society of Christ and His apostles, 
and yet in the world. Ambition, lust, self-asser- 
tion, cowardice, there are a thousand different 
manifestations of the world, and from this '' w^orld " 
you are to keep yourselves. You might steep 
Jesus right into the world, and it would not affect 
Him. He was not afraid of it, for wherever He 
w^ent, He caused light and blessing, power and life 
to aiise there. I know there is a great and 
immense difference between Him and us, and 
between different Christians too. We are to fight. 

374 ^THE world: 

not only against the world around us, but the 
world within us, and in proportion as we overcome 
the world within us, we shall be able to exert 
a good influence on those around us. There is 
such a thing as morbid scrupulosity ; there is a 
disease among professing Christians, one that sees 
small things appear large, and large things appear 
small ; but Jesus never loses the right balance. A 
Christian should be like a safety-lamp, able to go 
into noxious vapours, and yet remain separate 
from them, by prayer, humility, and the love of 
Christ — he himself giving light, and yet being in 
safety, undisturbed, untouched by them. The 
Church is compared to fire in the midst of water, 
sheep in the midst of wolves, holiness in the midst 
of sin, heavenliness in the midst of earthliness ; it is 
wonderful, how the Lord does preserve His Church. 
There is only one Church ; and Jesus, the Son of 
God, is the foundation on which it is built. When 
I was baptized, I did not think I was baptized into 
any particular sect, but into the Church of Christ, 
and it is blessed to remember that all faithful 
disciples make up one great and glorious body. . . . 
Jesus sends us that we, as human beings in the 
different places assigned to us, should show forth 
the mind and the will of God. I know it is difti- 
cult, dear friends, but God encourages us in it all. 
Why did Jesus live thirty years upon the earth, 
unknown to any but as the carpenter, a good son, 
a kind brother, industrious, One who adorned His 
profession of faith in God ; as One who studied and 
exemplified what He described in the Sermon on 

THE world: 375 

the Mount ? Love, He tells us, is the fulfilling of 
the law. As Pascal has said, **No amount of 
matter can produce thought, no amount of thought 
can produce love ; as thought is above matter, so 
is love above thought." So let us strive to love, 
for love comes down from God the Father, through 
Jesus, by the power of the Holy Ghost ; therefore 
we must abide near to Jesus. 

Love is the enemy of the world — which is wilful 
and self-concentrated. If we walk in love we must 
overcome the world, both within and around us. 


The first thing that strikes us is, that we preach 
a Person. We hear the voice ; we behold the 
countenance of a Person. "I am the Lord." 
" Look at Me." " Keturn unto the Lord thy 
God." " I am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great 
Reward." In all Old Testament history we behold 
God ; not Deity, an abstraction, a Divine power — 
but the living God ; not God hidden in impene- 
trable darkness — but God, as in condescending love 
He seeks and saves man, making known His name 
and showing His face. In the New Testament the 
same supreme, central, and ail-pervading position 
which is given to Jehovah in the Old is assigned 
to a Person, whose name is Jesus. (2) If we preach 
a Person, and, as need scarcely be added, a Divine 
Person, for it is inconceivable that the messenoer 
of God to man should be a creature ever so exalted 
and perfect, we cannot truly understand Christ, 
except by Divine revelation. No man can under- 


stand Christ — even since Christ has lived and died ; 
and without the help of the New Testament Scrip- 
tures — unless He is revealed to Him also by the 
Spirit. Here lies the source of all pseudo-Christi- 
anity. A Divine person is understood only by a 
Divine revelation, of which Scripture is the record 
without, and the Holy Ghost the illumination 
within. To preach Christ means to preach Christ 
according to the Scriptures. (3) If Christ is a 
Person, the Son of God, and if He is to be preached 
according to the Scriptures, then to preach Christ 
means to preach Christ crucified. The death of 
Christ as an atoning sacrifice is the very centre 
and heart of preaching Cheist. The Cross of 
Christ is the meaning of all ; the central point 
from which radiates Justification, Sanctification, 
and the Future Glory. God hath given to us the 
ministry of reconciliation ; and by reconciliation 
nothing else is meant but the expiatory substitutive 
death of Christ. This is the Gospel. 

To the world our message is — Christ crucified : 
to the believer — Christ risen. The crucifixion 
took place before the world ; the resurrection, in 
secret. It is perfectly true that if Christ had not 
risen, the Gospel would neither be true, nor would 
it be a living and vitalizing power ; but the Gospel 
itself is — ChPvISt died for the Ungodly. The 
sio^nificance of the resurrection is that Jesus, the 
Christ, our Substitute, was raised. He lives and 
sees His end, because His soul was made an 
ofi'ering for sin. He shall divide the spoil with 
the strong, because He poured out His soul unto 


death. " 1 am He that liveth, and was dead, and, 
behold, I am alive for evermore." The glory of the 
Risen Lord as Prophet and royal Priest can only 
be seen in the light of Golgotha. Even the glori- 
fied saints cry, " Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed 
us to God by Thy blood." Preaching Christ cruci- 
fied is the only way in which His life and ministry 
can be understood. The glory of Christ's life was, 
that for the glory of the Father and the salvation 
of sinners He became man, and having become 
man, went in the path of humility ; always looking 
forward to, and at last enduring, the death of the 
Cross. In this light alone we truly behold the 
Lamb without spot and blemish. Thus we are to 
preach Christ crucified ; not to the exclusion of His 
life, but to the inclusion and true possession of all 
that is in Christ. (4) For we preach not the cruci- 
fixion of Christ, but Christ Himself. Christ 
yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Christ as Prophet, 
Priest, and King; Christ in His humiliation, and 
Christ in His glory ; Christ the Lamb fore-ordained 
before the foundation of the world, foretold by the 
prophets, welcomed by the godly in Israel — a 
Person, true man and yet true God, in whom we 
possess the Father, and from whom we receive the 

In preaching Christ, three things are to be borne 
in mind — (1) Christ is absolutely necessary. (2) 
Christ is absolutely sufficient. (3) Christ is 
absolutely accessible. 

Modern preaching lacks power mainly in this 
fundamental point — that Christ is absolutely neces- 

B B 


sary. The grandeur of the Eemedy cannot be seen, 
unless we know something of the depth of the Fall. 
This expression — the wrath of God — is an expression 
most obnoxious to the present age. True ! God is 
love ; but that very love must hate sin. He is a 
consuming fire. Thus it was that Christ died not 
the death of a martyr ; but He felt death in its 
penal connection with sin. The severity and love 
of God were revealed in the Old Testament, but 
made bright and intense in the New. It is from 
the lips of Jesus we are taught the judgment of 
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. 
Christ is absolutely sufficient both for the present 
and the future. Our adoption is not merely legal, 
but real. Everything is given us with Him, and each 
believer has an everlasting and blessed existence. 
And Christ is accessible. What appears easy in 
theory however is difficult in practice. There is 
the difficulty of taking in the idea of Feee 
Grace — the dread of contact with God; the 
shrinking from having anything definitely con- 
cluded between God and us. The Church of Eome 
has illustrated these three tendencies. She places 
the narrow path, good work, ceremonies, &c. before 
the strait gate ; she places God and Christ at a 
great distance, with mediation between ; and in- 
stead of giving present salvation, she substitutes an 
indefinite hope in herself, after thousands of years 
of purgatory. There is no difi*erence between Jesus 
on His heavenly throne and Jesus when on earth. 
This is the glory of Jesus at the right hand of God, 
that He rcceiveth siiniers. He is now a merciful 

AS LITTLE children: 379 

and compassionate High Priest. The name He 
bears, Jesus, means, in the words of David, " He 
shall redeem Israel from all their iniquities." 
Christ is absolutely essential ; He is all- sufficient ; 
He is willing to receive sinners. This is the 
message of the preacher. 

"except ye become as little childken." 

1. Look first at the docilitij oi childhood ! It is 
constantly being taught, corrected ; rules and laws 
are given to it which are received with all 
simplicity, without thinking them strange or 
hard ; and the continual influence of a stronger 
mind and more powerful will does not raise up 
a wall of separation between the child and its 
teacher ; but, on the contrary, is a sweet link of 
afi"ection, the strength of which nothing can 
weaken, and the sweetness nothing can embitter. 
How soon do we lose it ; how impatient are we 
that God should be a continual influence in all our 
ways and works, that He should be brought into 
the minutest details of our life ; with what a bad 
grace do we become disciples, learners ; how far 
from the docility of little children ! 

2. The earnestness of childhood. A superficial 
observer would say it was not so ; that a child is 
fond of mirth and lauohter, has no care for the 
morrow. That is true ; but it is also true that 
the characteristic of childhood is solemnity and 
earnestness. Have you ever noticed how solemnly 
they will listen to a history of self-sacrifice, loyalty, 
and love ; how easy it is for them to believe in 


things spiritual and eternal ; how simple and 
direct their faith in God ; how they at once apply 
the rules of the Word of God to the course of life 
before them ; how immediately they expect an 
answer to prayer ? How different is it afterwards 
when we have grown wise and become young men 
and women (and our young men and women are 
the most sophistical portion of the human race) ; 
how w^e pride ourselves on our knowledge that we 
understand the motives of men 1 To the things of 
God we become calm, languid, sceptical, undecided ; 
and to the things of the world, prejudiced, eager, 
excited, intoxicated. *' Except ye be converted, 
and become as little children." 

3. The hQ^wXiiivl franhiess and unsuspiciousness 
of childhood. It does not see why it should 
disguise its thoughts and feelings ; or why it should 
have such deferential reverence to a rich man or a 
learned man ; it breathes as yet the fresh air of 
the woods, instead of the sickly scented air of our 
civilization ; it distinguishes the excellent and the 
beautiful, whatever shape it may wear. How 
different it is afterwards 1 

4. The helplessness of childhood. A little child 
is so conscious of its helplessness ; it is so easy 
for it to be humble ; to say thank you, to appeal 
to you to do an act of kindness ; it is not 
difficult to stoop ; its natural attitude is sitting 
at the feet of the Master and those representing 

5. A child lives in the present, is not anxious 
for the morrow; a disappointment does not crush 

AS LITTLE children: 381 

it ; it springs back again, because the undercurrent 
of its life is joy and confidence. 

6. In childhood there is a distinct idea of 
Divine justice. Tell a child a story in which the 
wicked go unpunished, and it is disappointed ; its 
tiny conscience rebels, and there is no dilKculty in 
feeling that the motive of punishment is love, and 
so it is able to return again with perfect confidence 
to the love and tenderness of its father, knowing 
that love is the deepest of all parents and teachers. 
Are your children teaching you ? — for only then 
will you be able to teach them. Many will say I 
am idealizing ; of course I am. What is the use of 
the Bible if we could not idealize ? To see beneath 
the surface must be given to us by the Spirit of 
God. What I have said does not exist in any 
child in perfection, nor alone, but is mixed with 
much that is not beautiful, but ugly, the con- 
sequence of our sinful, fallen condition. Remember 
what Christ says, ^' as little children,'^ humble, 
docile, not self-reliant, believing in the love of God 
spite of all chastisement and affliction ; joyous in 
His favour, rejoicing to serve Him ; knowing that 
to serve Him is perfect freedom. 

7. Let us look at the limitation of childhood, 
Paul refers in one instance to his childhood in that 
wonderful chapter on love — 1 Cor. xiii. 11. Let us 
remember that we are but little children in relation 
to God and eternity, and therefore I am not 
astonished that in the Bible there are many 
doctrines I cannot comprehend, many sentiments 
I cannot reconcile. Why should we be alarmed 


or have our faith shaken by our difficulty in 
comprehending the whole counsel of God ? On 
the contrary, it is at once an exercise and a 
confirmation of faith. If the Bible was not 
wonderful, I could not believe it; if it was not 
mysterious, I could not accept it ; if it was not 
great, I could fathom it, but now it f^ithoms me. 
We are little children. God is our Father, and 
tlie Bible His Word. If I only know that I am 
His child, then it is eas}^ to believe, in spite of 
all that is mysterious, but not because of it. 

8. The contrast of childhood. We are told in 
malice to be children ; but in understanding, in 
courage, in loyalty, in service, we are to be men, 
not tossed to and fro by every wdnd of doctrine. 
Let us beseech you, in the name of the Apostle who 
thus writes, and of the Lord who inspired him, to 
quit yourseh^es like men. It is taught us in 
Scripture, and confirmed by the experience of the 
Church, that where there is most of the simplicity 
of childhood, there is the greatest manliness in the 
service of Christ. What a blessed thing it is to 
be a child of God ! It contains the humility and 
simplicity of a little child, the ardour and earnest- 
ness of youth, the peaceful security of old age 
(1 John ii. 12 — 14). There is no true man but a 
Christian ; but he is a true man, for he is infant, 
youth, and old man all in one, because he is a man 
in Christ Jesus. 

Dear friends, are you the children of God ? Do 
you love God as your Father? Is that world a 
reality to you ? The children of the world are 


always saying that God is their Father ; but to 
them it means only that they may do as they like — 
hoard up wealth, fritter away the precious time ; 
that it does not matter whether they love Jesus 
or serve Him ; and they will secure themselves by 
saying, ''God is a Father." I should not like to have 
such a Father. If my Father is indifferent whether 
I love Him or His Jesus, that is no Father to me. 
Oh, repent, turn back from this miserable empty 
life, that can only end in death [ Don't believe 
there are any insuperable difficulties to be over- 
come. God is willing and waiting to receive you. 
Jesus is ready to welcome you. The Holy Ghost 
is just at the door of your heart, that He may 
enter in and cry Abba. Only be a sinner. Go 
out of the circle of death unto Him who has said, 
" Come unto Me." May there be none of us here 
who are not members of that family who are 
washed in the blood of Jesus, and renewed by the 
Holy Ghost ! But we must be convinced of it even 
now ; we cannot remain in doubt of such a thing, 
but must immediately, when we see the heavenly 
vision, without conferring with flesh and blood, 
run into the open arms of the Father, that He may 
enfold us, — to keep us in eternal security for ever- 
more. May the Lord by the Holy Ghost give joy 
to all His believing children, and convert all, for 
they need conversion, who do not believe in Jesus ! 



" Beloved,"now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear 
what we phall be : but we know that, when He shall appear, 
we shall be like Him ; for we shall see Him as He is." — 
1 John iii. 2. 

nOPE, like faith and love, is a grace given by God and 
implanted by the Holy Spirit. Faith is the gift of 
God. Love to Christ is the gift of God. Hope is the gift 
of God. Hope is as essential as faith and love. In fact 
there can be no real faith in Christ, there can be no real 
love to the Saviour, unless they be accompanied by hope. 
For what is it that we believe ? We believe that Jesus 
has saved us. Saved from what ? From the wrath to 
come. Saved us unto what? Saved us unto eternal 
glory. Both the wrath to come, from which the Lord has 
delivered us, and the eternal glory, wdiich is to be our 
portion, are things of the future. We look forward unto 
them in hope. If we believe in Jesus, we must have hope. 
If we love Christ, we must have hope. For if we love 
one and he is absent from us, our great desire is that we 
may be united — that he may come again unto us, and 
that he may then take us into such fellowship with him- 
self that we can never more fall away from him — that 
we can never more be separate. If a man says he loves 
Jesus, and he is indifferent about the return of Christ, or 
about heaven, or about being united with Christ evermore, 
that man's words are vague. 

•^ Preached on Sunday Morning, December 31, 1871, in St. Mark's 
Presbyterian Church, Greenwich. 


We have received eternal life, and yet we have not 
received it. We are saved, yet we are only saved by 
hope. We have received grace, and yet the Apostle 
Peter exhorts us to be sober, and to wait for the grace 
which is to be revealed nnto us at the coming of Christ. 
We are made children of God, and yet the Apostle Paul 
says we are waiting for the adoption, that is, the re- 
demption of the body. We have received the great 
salvation, and yet that salvation is only the end of our 
faith, and shall be given to us at the coming of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. We are glorified, because those whom God 
hath called and justified He has also glorified ; for the 
spirit of Glory is resting upon us ; and yet the glory hath 
not yet appeared. We are looking forward unto it. So 
that in all things, in every respect, beginning with the 
most elementary manifestation of the grace of God, and 
ending in that which is its consummation, we have already 
the germ of the future ; but the fulfilment of that germ 
we have not received, and, like all the creatures round 
about us, we are groaning and travailing in birth — for our 
own birth — that we should be made manifest in Christ. 
When Christ shall appear, when Jesus Christ shall be 
sent again from heaven in the hour which God has ap- 
pointed, then shall we obtain the end of our faith, namely, 
our perfect and full salvation. So are we bound up in 
Christ, inseparably from Him, that all His history is as it 
were repeated in us, and that we cannot be complete until 
the whole object of God has been perfected in Him. When 
we think of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we say, 
" We are saved," — '' Emmanuel, God with us " — and yet we 
know tiat salvation is not complete. It has only begun. 
For it is necessary that this child should grow, that he 
should be obedient unto the law, that he should be the 
perfect servant of God upon earth. When we think of what 
Christ has been for thirty-three years upon earth we say, 


" Here is our Representative ; here is the Lord our God 
who saves us," and yet we know it is not complete ; for 
it is necessary that He should die upon the cross. And 
when we see Him upon the cross, then we say, " Here is 
our salvation ! Here is the Lamb of God that taketh 
away our sin " ; and yet we know that our salvation is not 
complete ; for it is necessary that if He died He should 
rise aofain from the dead. And when we see Him rise on 
the third day, we say, " Behold Christ the first-fruits of 
them that slept — the quickening spirit, — the Second 
Adam." And yet we know it is not complete ; for He 
must ascend again, and He must take up His position as 
the Son of man at the right hand of God, there in heaven 
to appear for us. And when we see Him at the right 
hand of God, there, we say, " Behold the Lord our Right- 
eousness ! We are seated together with Christ in heavenly 
places." And yet then it is not complete ; for even Christ 
Himself is looking forward, waiting and expecting, until 
the time when He shall come again ; for then only shall 
the purpose of God be fulfilled in Christ and in the Church. 
When He shall be made manifest, we also shall be made 
manifest with Him in glory. So, where Christ is, there 
His servants are to be. We must follow Jesus Christ. 

Now the promise that is given unto us is this — At 
present it does not yet appear what we shall be. " We 
shall be like Him," when Christ appears. And the reason 
why we shall be like Him is because " we shall see Him 
as He is." These are the two great promises given unto 
those that love Jesus Christ, that believe in His Name, 
and that have become the sons of God through faith in 
Him. They shall be like Him, because they shall see 
Him as He is. 

Now, as we have seen already, this must have already 
its beginning in us at present. To a certain extent we 
must be like Christ even now, if we are to claim His 


promise that we shall be like Him altogether. And to a 
certain, extent we must see Jesus even now, if ours is the 
promise that we shall see Him as He is. Therefore, what 
is revealed unto us in the future is not something that is 
unintelligible to us ; it is not something that is distant — 
away ; but we have got already as it were the first-fruits 
of that which we shall reap ; we have got already a fore- 
taste of that enjoyment which shall be ours. We can 
understand it, because we have already entered into the 
possession of it, although we have not yet fully come to 
possess it. 

Now this morning we shall consider the one promise, 
that we shall see Christ as He is, this being the ground 
upon which He has built the other promise, that we shall 
be like Him. 

We shall see Christ as He is. There are two things 
to be considered here : — first, the object of our vision — 
Christ ; and secondly, the manner of our vision, and there 
we must consider how we have it at present, and how we 
shall have it in the future. 

Whom shall we see ? Christ. We shall see Him as 
He is. 

Now we already see Christ at present by faith. God 
reveals His Son Jesus Christ unto our souls, so that, 
we know Him. But then we shall see Him as He is — 
different from the way in which we see Him now. What 
is it, then, that is at present imperfect in our vision of the 
Lord Jesus Christ ? We see, the Apostle tells us, as in a 
glass darkly ; but afterwards we shall see face to face. 
Jesus Christ is revealed unto us in His words, and in our 
experience and by the manifestation of the Spirit ; and it 
is this same Jesus whom we shall see in the future. 

Now let us first think of it in this light, that it is the 
same Saviour whom we shall see. That is the same Jesus 
Christ who is revealed unto us now in His Word, and who 


is revealed unto us in our experience, whom we shall 
afterwards behold. When the Lord Jesus Christ rose 
from the dead, and appeared unto His disciples, He 
manifested unto them the same grace and the same love 
which they had experienced during the da3'S that He was 
walking with them in the weakness of the flesh. There 
was the same condescension, there was the same com- 
passion, there was the same sympathy. He appeared 
unto Thomas in condescension to the great weakness of 
the faith of Thomas. He appeared unto Peter, and He 
asked him, " Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me ? " He 
argued with them; He reasoned with them; He explained 
unto them the Scriptures. He not merely manifested unto 
them that it was the same body which they had seen 
dying on the cross, but He also gave unto them proof that 
in His mind, tliat in His disposition, that in His character, 
that in His dealings with them, it was the same Jesus of 
Nazareth who had attracted them, who had taught them, 
and who had borne for three years with such patience and 
with such long-suffering all their weakness and all their 
doubts. And, certainly, this is the great truth which is 
to be held fist by us — that it is the Lord Jesus Christ 
Himself, as He reveals Himself now to us by His Word 
and by His Spirit, who is to be manifested unto us in the 
future. There will be the same grace, there will be the 
same sympathy, there will be the same tenderness ; and, 
if we have experienced now, in the midst of our sins and 
in the midst of the accusations of our conscience, and in 
the down-pressing feeling of our unworthiness, how in 
Jesus Christ there is nothing but grace and forgiveness 
unto all those that come unto Him ; or, if we have 
experienced in our weakness and infirmity, how the Lord 
will be our strength in our affliction and our sorrow — how 
Jesus Himself is afflicted in our affliction, and bears with us 
as a compassionate and merciful High Priest ; all this shall 


be the same when we shall behold Jesus Christ in glory 
at His second coming, and through the ages that we are to 
be with Him. It is the same Christ according to the Word 
— according to the spiritual experience of the believer. All 
the saints of God shall rejoice to find when they go to heaven 
that all the promises of the Word and all the descriptions 
of Jesus Christ in the Word are true, and that God has not 
given unto us any other manifestation of Himself than that 
which corresponds with the reality and with truth. But, 
at the same time we cannot but feel that our knowledge 
of Jesus Christ — our perception of Jesus Christ — is 
defective ; that it is imperfect, that it is unsymmetrical, 
and that it is dark. No person can say that he knows 
Jesus. However much God may have given unto us to 
see of Christ, however deeply we may have studied the 
Scriptures, and however varied our experience may be of 
the Saviour, it is impossible for any one of us to say we 
know Christ ; but we all must say with the Apostle Paul, 
that it is our great desire and our constant eftbrt that we 
may know Him ; for in the Lord Jesus Christ there is the 
whole fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily, and in Him 
there is given every manifestation of the character of 
God ; so that we are not able to see all that is in Christ ; 
•so that we can only study and gather together, as it were 
by a laborious process, the different elements of the 
character of the Lord Jesus Christ, and combine them in 
our mind. We all must have experienced it when the 
Spirit of God leads us into different aspects of Christ at 
different times. For instance, sometimes we dwell much 
in our thoughts and in our meditations, and, more than 
that, it is deeply impressed upon our conscience and 
upon our feeling, that Jesus is God — that He is the 
Lord God ; that He is infinite ; that He is eternal ; that 
He is the Word that was with the Father from everlasting ; 
that He is holy; that He is omnipotent; that He is 


omniscient; that it is impossible, as it were, to fathom 
the fullness that is in Him. We are filled with the sense 
of the grandeur and of the majesty of Christ. At other 
times again we dwell upon the humanity of Jesus; we 
remember that He was born of a woman ; that He was 
a child ; that He grew ; that when He was a man He 
hungered and thirsted ; that He was overcome with 
fatigue ; that He sympathized in all things that were 
good and pure, with those that were around Him. We 
think of His benevolence, and of His affability, of all His 
kindness, all His readiness to bless, to heal, to forgive. 
And then we feel that the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed 
the Lamb of God, that He is gentle, that He is tender; 
that we can draw near unto Him with full confidence. 
Now while we are thinking on the Divinity of Christ and 
feeling it, and while we are thinking on the humanity of 
Christ and feelino- it, we do not see Jesus as He is. We 
have only a one-sided view^ of Christ, and a one-sided 
feeling corresponding to that view of Clirist. He is both 
God and man: He is both dreadful and awful in His 
majesty, and gentle and tender in His grace ; but we 
have only a one-sided impression, and a one-sided feeling. 
We do not see Him as He is. Or again, if we think of 
Jesus in all His activities, it is impossible for us to see 
Jesus as He is — to take a comprehensive and therefore a 
true view of Christ — what He is in relation to His Father, 
the activities going upwards to God in the way of inter- 
cession; wdiat He is towards the angels — what LCe is 
towards the Church — what He is towards unbelievers 
— what He is towards the inanimate creation. It is 
impossible for us while we are fixing our mind on one of 
these aspects, not to forget the others. We find it next 
to impossible — exceedingly difficult — to allow everything 
to have its just weight or just proportion. Or take the 
names of Jesus which are the manifestation of what He is 


— His name Jesus — Emmanuel, the Lord our Risrliteous- 
ness ; His name Melchisedec, and the great number of 
other names which God, in His great mercy, has revealed 
unto us in order that we may study to see Jesus — to 
know Jesus. Oh, who of us knoweth the name of tlie 
Lord Jesus Christ ? We know something of different 
names of His; but who of us has got the power of 
combining them all ? So again His first coming and His 
second coming. So again all the different types by which 
He is revealed to us — His character as Abel — His character 
as Enoch w^ho ascended to heaven — His character as 
Noah — His character as Joseph, who, through suffering, 
goes to glory — His character as Moses, the true mediator, 
who speaks to God face to face — His character as Joshua, 
wdio leads the children of Israel into the promised land — 
His character as David and Solomon. Who is able to 
comprehend all these ? In the history of the Church as 
well as in the history of each individual, we find, at differ- 
ent times, different aspects of Christ are held — true ia 
themselves, but one-sided, defective. For instance, during 
the time of Romanism — the beginning of it — they were 
so impressed with the sense of the grandeur of Christ, the 
majesty of Christ, the divinity of Christ, that they said, 
"We cannot approach Him. He is so great. He is so 
infinite, He is so glorious, He is so holy ; Ave are afraid to 
go near unto Him. Perhaps the mediation of angels, 
perhaps the mediation of saints who walk in closer com- 
munion wdth Him, perhaps the mediation of Mary His 
mother will be a help to us." Well now, the feeling that 
prompted itself w^as quite a correct feeling ; but it was 
one-sided. Jesus is very great. The Majesty of Jesus is 
exceedingly awful. When w^e think of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Eternal Word, the only begotten of the Father, 
the appointed Heir of all things — when we read the 
description of Christ as it is given to us in the Book of 


Kevelation, surely we must all tremble ; we must all be 
tilled with awe ; we must say, " Who is like unto Thee ? " 
It is quite possible, dear friends, that we may be just as 
one-sided, and just as defective both in our views and our 
feelings, when we lay all our emphasis upon the meekness 
of Christ, and upon His gentleness — when w^e do not think 
of Him as the Lord and the Judge, as the great and 
mighty One who is equal with the Father. But in this 
they were wrong, that tliey did not see Jesus as He is, 
namely, that they did not see the manifestation of the 
glory of God in the mercy of Christ, in the willingness of 
Jesus to receive all — in His saying, " Him that cometh 
unto Me, I will in no wise cast out " — in the tenderness 
with which He receives all those who turn from wicked- 
ness, and are anxious to seek the living God. 

Or again, view Jesus as the Justifier — as the Lord our 
Righteousness. Some people are so fond of saying — ** It 
is all finished " — everything is done for them. Yes, dear 
friends, but then has everything been done in them ? 
Jesus the Lord our Rii^hteousness is also the Lord our 
Sanctilication. In that He died, sin was condemned in the 
llesh, that we being acquitted might learn with the Lord 
Jesus Christ to sutfer in the flesh ; that the life may be a 
life of holiness, well pleasing in the sight of God. And 
when we say we are justified by faith, do we also re- 
member that before we are justified by faith we are 
sanctiiied — we are set apart to be new, to be clean, to be 
unblamable in the sight of God — that we are justified not 
merely by faith, but by Jesus and by the Spirit of the 
Lord God — that God never says a thing which is not a 
reality, and that when God declares, " This man is just," 
He makes the man also justified ? When God declares 
" This man I will look upon as My child," He makes him 
also His child, endowing him with the new nature, 
renewing him after the image of Christ, giving unto him 


a hatred of sin, a love of that which is good and 

Yes, dear friends, the great thing is to see Christ as 
He is ; that is, to see the whole Jesus Christ. And this is 
not given unto us here upon earth. We must always be 
UDon our guard lest we become one-sided. Beinof one- 
sided, dear friends, is not a matter of small importance : 
it is a matter of vital importance. Here, on earth, we can 
only strive to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but there we 
shall see Him ; we shall see Him as He is. And this is 
the most glorious promise that can be given unto us — to 
behold Him in whom dwelt " the fullness of the Godhead 
bodily " — to behold Him who is the delight of the Father, 
whom to see is the Father's great joy from everlasting to 
everlasting — to behold Him who seeks (?) His incarnation 
especially as becoming the well beloved Son of God, to 
whom God hath given to fulfil all His pleasure, and whom 
all angels and all principalities adore. Look, dear friends, 
and this is also one of our defectivenesses, one sign of our 
departure, as it were, from the fullness, and from the 
simplicity in Christ Jesus. When the Apostles speak of 
the knowledge of Christ — of knowing Jesus by the gospel 
— they cannot find words enough, they cannot find 
illustrations enough to show the sense they have of the 
grandeur, of the brightness, of the glory of the exceeding 
great preciousness of that revelation of God in Jesus 
Christ. To them the gospel does not seem such a simple 
thing as it does to us, and such a tame thing, and such a 
pale thing, and a thing which becomes tiresome and 
tedious when you hear it often repeated ; but, on the 
contrary, they cannot find words enough to express the 
exceeding great brightness and glory of that revelation 
which God has given unto us in the face of His only 
begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says, 
*•' What can it be now ? What terms shall be able to 



express it ? With what words shall we be able to designate 
that feeling and impression which we have got of the 
glory of Christ ? If even the revelation of God through 
Moses — if even the reflection of the countenance of God 
upon the countenance of Moses — was so bright and so 
splendid that the Israelites could not bear to see it, and 
to look on the face of Moses, and he had to put a veil 
upon his countenance by reason of the greatness of that 
light, what will happen to us when we see the reflection 
of God on the face of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ 
— when we see the reality of the glory of God in Him who 
is the brightness of His glory, — the face of Christ the 
Lord who appears unto us without a veil, but shows 
Himself unto us that we may see Him face to face ? " 

Now let me just appeal to3^ou. Answer this. Is there 
anything in us corresponding to the feeling which dictated 
those chapters in the Corinthians which we have read 
together this morning ? Do you think it such an over- 
powering and overwhelming glory to read in the Word of 
God about Jesus the Son of God ? Do you think it such 
a remarkable thing that you should hear of Christ — that 
you should pray to Christ — that you should bend your 
knee before the Son of God who has become man, and who 
is your Saviour ? Ah, dear friends, how little do we feel 
the power and the brightness of the glory of God in the 
face of Jesus Christ, His Son ! How little trembling of 
awe and of rejoicing is there in our souls when we think 
of that simple truth, " God manifest in the flesh : the 
Word became flesh, and dwelt among us" — when we think 
of that blessed Name, the Name above every name given 
unto the Lord, that at the Name of Jesus every knee 
should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth ! 
We shall see Him as He is. Oh, that we may have here, 
at least, some things, some foretaste, some earnest of that 
great revelation which shall there be made unto us of the 


Lord Jesus Christ in the fullness of His perfection, and in 
the fullness of His character ! 

Now there is a difference not merely in the object that 
we behold — Christ Himself and the whole Christ, but 
there is a difference also in the manner of our beholding 
Him — the manner of our beholding Him. I have already- 
indicated that here it is through a mirror ; and that here 
it is by an effort ; and that here it is by faith ; and that 
here it is in scattered rays which have to be combined. 
But there it shall be vision, an immediate, easy, joyous 
beholding of the Lord in His ftdlness. The Apostle speaks 
of the veil — the veil of Moses that is taken away. Unto 
the Jews there v/as a two-fold veil. In the first place, 
there was a veil on the face of Moses, and then there was 
a veil on their hearts. That is to say, the revelation of 
God was a defective one in the Old Testament times. 
That veil is taken away, and God has revealed Himself 
now without veil in the face of Jesus Christ, His only 
begotten Son. No man hath seen God at any time but 
the only begotten of the Father — He hath revealed Him. 
God has taken away the veil : God has revealed Himself 
exactly as He is in the face of Jesus Christ of Nazareth 
— in His life upon earth, in His death on the Cross, and 
His resurrection from the dead. " He that hath seen Me, 
hath seen the Father." Oh, what a wonderful thingr it is 
that when we read the sweet story of old — the Bible 
narrative of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ — we behold 
there, God ! This is God. This Jesus reveals unto us the 
Father. E/ery word that He speaks is an echo out of the 
heart of the living God. Everything that He does, every 
truth that He proclaims, .every manifestation of His 
character He gives, is all a revelation of God. He and 
the Father are one. God dwelleth in liorht that is un- 
approachable and full of glory, but He has sent Jesus 
Christ to reveal unto us, and we behold the glory of God 


in Him as the glory of the only begotten, full of grace 
and truth. Here in itself there is a test of the state of 
our mind. But the second veil was the veil that was on 
their hearts. The first veil was that the revelation itself 
was a defective one. God spoke by the prophets at 
sundry times and in divers manners with a veil. Now 
God speaks by His Son without a veil. But the second 
veil was on their hearts ; that is, the veil of sin, the veil 
of selfishness, the veil of woildliness, the veil of unbelief, 
so that they did not see even the imperfect revelation, as 
now when they are reading the Law the veil is still on 
their hearts. And the second veil is also on the heart of 
every unregenerate and unconverted person. Why, dear 
friends, is the Gospel not plain, not intelligible, not 
attractive, not easy ? Why then do so many people not 
understand it ? God has taken away the veil. The face 
of Christ shines forth with splendour and glory. Then 
why do not people understand it ? Because there is a 
veil on their hearts. Who puts that veil there ? " If 
our gospel is hid" — if the message which we declare is 
not understood — if it is not accepted — if Christ is not 
seen in the Word, what is the reason ? What is the 
reason ? The Apostle explains it to us ; and he, being 
inspired of God, explains it to us truly. It is that the 
devil binds people by sin, by worldliness — that he blinds 
them, and prevents them from looking at Christ lest they 
should see the glory of God in the face of His Son, and 
seeing that glory, should repent and turn from sin unto 
the Lord their God. That is the reason — not that the 
gospel is not plain. " If our gospel is hid, it is hid to 
them that are lost," whom the god of this world, Satan, 
blinds, lest they should see the glory of God in Clirist. 
Now, both these veils are taken away. The one was taken 
away eighteen hundred j^ears ago, when God sent Jesus 
into the world. The other is taken away by the power of 


the Holy Ghost, when we individually are turned unto the 
Lord. Therefore there is a behohhng of Jesus. And 
this shows unto us that the seeing of the Lord Jesus 
Christ is something that depends not merely on the object 
that is presented before us, but also on the state of him 
that is to behold. And thus we see that when we come 
to be with the Lord Jesus Christ, there shall be the 
perfect beholding of Jesus, because our hearts shall be 
perfectly delivered from that veil which is now upon 
them. As the Lord Jesus Christ says, "Blessed are the 
pure in heart, for they shall see God." Therefore, it is 
the condition of the heart, it is our spiritual and moral 
character in the sight of God, it is our faithfulness in that 
which God has entrusted to us, it is our fighting against 
sin, the world, and the flesh — it is this which is connected 
with our beholding Jesus Christ even now upon earth. 
But when we shall be perfectly delivered from the bondage 
of sin and of corruption — when there shall be taken away 
from us every weight, and that sin of unbelief which doth 
so easily beset us — then shall we behold the Lord Jesus 
Christ. We shall see Him, because He shall be manifested 
unto us in all His completeness; we shall see Him per- 
fectly because the veil shall be taken away from our 
hearts, and everything that now hinders us from behold- 
ing. We see now darkly, as through a glass. So even 
the Apostle Paul had to confess. Now we can argue from 
the greater to the less. If Paul had to make this con- 
fession, how much more we ; because, only remember the 
case of the Apostle Paul. He saw Jesus in the vision, not 
merely as we do in the Word and by faith; but Jesus 
appeared unto him. That vision of itself would not have 
been sufficient, because, as the Apostle Paul explains it, 
God revealed His Son in him. If Saul had merely seen 
Christ in the heavens, and heard His voice, that would 
never have converted him. What converted him was that 


afterwards God by the Holy Ghost revealed in the heart 
and conscience of the Apostle Paul that Jesus was Lord 
and Christ, and that in Him alone forgiveness of sin and 
eternal life can be obtained. Notwithstanding all this, 
the Apostle Paul, with all his knowledge and experience, 
and with all the wisdom which was given unto him, and 
insight into the Word of God, confessed all his life that 
the great object of his life was to know Christ; and then 
he confesses that " here we see through a glass darkly, but 
then we shall see face to face " : here we know only in 
fragments, but " then we shall know even as we are 
known." And therefore the seeing Christ as He is, is 
something which is connected with our life and our 
strength. And in this respect the use of the word in 
Scripture is different from our use of the word. We do 
not attach much importance to knowledge. We separate 
between knowledge and what is to be produced by that 
knowledge. We say a man may know a number of 
things, and yet it may not be of any good to him. But 
the idea which the Bible has of knowledge is something 
not merely of the intellect, or of the imagination, or of 
the memory. The knowledge of which the Bible speaks 
is a thing which possesses the whole mind of man and the 
whole character of man, so that the man that knows God 
possesses God. Why is it made a promise throughout all 
the prophets that the time is coming when all shall know 
the Lord? "Then shall ye know the Lord." If that 
knowledge was something merely of the intellect and of 
the memor}^, what great benefit or boon Avould it be? 
Why, it might only aggravate the guilt of man ; for we 
all are aware of this, not merely to understand a thing in 
our mind, and to remember a thing with our memory, if 
it has no influence upon our character, is no real benefit, 
but only an aggravation of our guilt. But when the 
Bible speaks about knowing God, it means possessing 


God. For instance, " This is our eternal life " — ivhat is 
eternal life ? " That they should know Thee, the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." Then this 
is not merely a thing of the intellect, but it is life ; it is 
vital; ifc is a new existence; it is something which will 
change the whole man — this knowing the Lord. 

Then, again, we are told that when we look unto the 
Lord Jesus Christ we shall be healed. Then this seeing 
of the Lord Jesus Christ is something that affects not 
merely the eye, or the understanding, or the mind, but it 
is somethincr which takes altogether from one state of 
existence into another state of existence. " We shall 
know Him even as we are known." What is the meaning 
of that ? Oh, we are not able fully to understand what 
the meaning of it is ; but the meaning of it is this, — that 
we shall not merely see Christ, but by seeing Christ we 
shall more and more become one with Christ. It is the 
communion that subsists between Christ and the soul. It 
is the knowledge that He is ours and that we are His, — 
that all that we behold in Him is given unto us, — that 
He has taken hold of us even as we have taken possession 
of Him. That is the meaninsj of that seeincr Him. We 
shall know Him even as we are known of Him. And 
thus it is that the promise that is given unto us will have 
an immediate effect upon us — that beholding Jesus Christ, 
we shall be like unto Him. 

Notice, dear friends, a thing which refers to all the 
statements of the Bible. We take the words of the Bible, 
and we understand them according to the common use of 
the words which we make of them in our life ; and there- 
fore we find it necessary always to put a codicil to them, 
a caution, a supplement, to put them straight. But if we 
understood the words of the Bible as they are, as God 
wishes us to understand them, it would not be necessary 
to put any such caution. For instance, — 'justification." 


We explain the doctrine of justification by faith, and then 
we must add, " But a man that is justified by faith will 
lead a holy life." The Bible does not require that to be 
added. It is a matter that explains itself, because from 
the way in which the Bible explains justification by faith, 
he cannot but lead a holy life. Again, the Apostle John 
says, " Every one that hath this hope in him purifieth 
himself, even as He is pure." We would say, " This hope 
is set before you; it is a very glorious hope; but re- 
member, you that have this hope ought to purify your- 
selves." The Bible does not say " ought " at all, because 
the Bible says if the man hath this hope he will purify 
himself. " Every one that hath this hope purifieth him- 
self, even as He is pure." And so it is with the knowledge 
of God. If we understand it in the Bible sense, then all 
the consequences of it, as they are in the Bible, will natur- 
ally flow from it. He gives unto us salvation. How ? 
Through the knowledge of His name — through the know- 
ledge of His name. And therefore it is that, seeing Christ 
as He is, we become like Him. 

What is the inference from that ? That in proportion 
as we do see Christ we must become like Him ; and in 
proportion as we are not like Jesus Christ we have never 
seen Him. It is not that you must add the second to 
the first, but the first does not exist without it. As the 
Apostle says, " If a man does not love his brother, he has 
not seen God." He has " not seen God." What does he 
mean by that ? He means by that, that if he has seen 
God, he maist love his brother. We say a man has seen 
God, but he does not remember that he also ought to love 
his brother. The Apostle does not say that. On the 
contrary, he says, " If a man does not love his brother, he 
has never seen God." Oh that we may enter into the 
reality of the Word of God I Oh, then we will find out, 
dear friends, that we have a great many things to learn — 


things which we fancied we learnt years ago. What is 
the meaning of repentance? What is the meaning of 
conversion ? What is the meaning of faith in Christ ? 
What is the meaning of justification ? What is the 
meaning of the new birth? What is the meaning of 
beinof washed in the blood of Jesus ? Let none of us 
think that we have learnt these things, for in the Word 
of God the first and the last, the beginning and the end, 
are all inseparably connected. And while we are in the 
flesh, and while we are still learners and disciples upon 
earth, this must be our great and our humble task day 
by day — that we may know Christ — that we may k7Wiu 

And, ia conclusion, let me say a word unto any among 
us who do not know Jesus, but who wish to know Jesus. 
What description can one give of the terror and the 
blackness and the misery of that second death, but simply 
to say that you will be excluded from Jesus ? There must 
be darkness there, because Jesus is the light. There 
must be death there, because Jesus is the life. There 
must be utter helplessness there, because Jesus is the way. 
There must be intense ugliness there, because Jesus is 
the beauty. There must be everything inhuman there, 
because Jesus alone is the man in whom humanity can 
be restored. What greater joy can there be than to 
behold Jesus ? What greater misery can there be than 
not to behold Jesus? Onl}^ think of that. However 
little you may know of Jesus, take it for granted : believe 
it on the testimony of God in His Word., and on the testi- 
mony of all godly men that have ever lived : all is in 
Jesus. All is in Jesus. To see Him is life and joy, and 
not to see Him is unspeakable misery. 

Now if a man wants to see Jesus — and even those 
Greeks, with their imperfect knowledge, said unto Philip, 
'' Sir, we would see Jesus." They had heard sufficient of 


Jesus to arouse their curiosity. And you remember that 
little man Zacchseus, who was anxious to see Jesus, — how 
he overcame all difficulties. There was a sycamore tree, 
and climbing up that sycamore tree, he was waiting 
anxiously until Jesus should pass. And then see how the 
Lord Jesus honours and rewards and acknowledges even 
the slightest desire that is in the heart of a sinner towards 
Him ; for when He came near to Jericho He looked up, 
and He invited and commanded Zacchfeus to come down, 
not merely to see Him, to catch a passing glimpse of Him, 
but because Jesus wished to be his guest, and to abide in 
his house. Oh, do try and find some sycamore tree to 
catch a glimpse of Jesus ; and when the desire of your 
heart is to see Christ, do not rest until that desire is 
fulfilled, and until you behold Hiui, the Saviour, the 
Sanctifier, and the Lord of life ! 



" And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with 
one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound 
from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the 
house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them 
cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.'' — 
Acts ii. 1 — 3. 

rpHE two points which occupy our attention this morning 
-*- are, in the first place, the Jewish festivals; in the 
second place, the outward manifestations and signs which 
accompanied the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

When God in His condescension became the Creator, He 
set into existence space and time. All space is to be filled 
with His glory ; heaven and earth are to show forth His 
wisdom and His power. Throughout the whole realm of 
space the majesty of God is to be manifested from that 
centre which He has Himself appointed. "The Lord hath 
established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom 
ruleth over all." And as all space is to be filled with 
God, so the Lord also is the Lord of all time. There are 
ages — dispensations — of immense duration, aion after 
aion. All those ages are to be filled with the music of 
God ; and as God, the Creator, is the Lord of these ages, 
so Jesus Christ, the Son, is the centre of the ages, and the 
Holy Ghost is that Spirit wdiich proceeds from the Father 
and the Son, who in all ag^es carries out the sovereio^n 

1 Preached in the Tiiiiity Presbyterian Church, Ladbrooke Road, 
Xottiug Hill, ou Suuday Morning, February 17, 1877. 


counsel of God. From before the foundation of the world 
the Lamb of God was ordained, and, therefore, of all the 
immense space which God has called iuto existence, the 
most important and beautiful spot is that little hill 
outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. And of all 
the ages and dispensations which from before the throne 
of God continue in succession, there is no time so im- 
portant, which shall be remembered throughout all eternity, 
as those thirty-three years when in the fullness of time 
the Son of God lived upon the earth, and offered Himself 
as a sacrifice to manifest the Glory of Jehovah. Now 
when in the Lord Jesus Christ we have revealed to us the 
full counsel of God, we are able to look upon all space 
with a feeling of confidence and of homeliness, and we are 
able to think of all the ages both which have gone before 
and which are yet to come with rejoicing hope, knowing 
that Jesus is the heir of all ages, and that throughout all 
a^es there shall be ma'le manifest in the Church unto 
all. the creation of God, the manifold riches of His grace 
and of His power. When God created the world, He 
created in six days, but He did not finish creation in six 
days. It is a mistake to think that the world was created 
in six days, and that after the creation was finished, the 
seventh day was the day of rest ; for as you find it in the 
second chapter of the Book of Genesis, it was the rest of God 
which was the finishing of His works. It was on the seventh 
day that God finished all His works ; but if God had only 
created in six days, and if there had not been the seventh 
day of rest, the works of God would have been incomplete. 
He who out of His fullness went forth calling things into 
existence, had to go back again into His fullness and to 
take all those that He had created into His own bosom, that 
within Himself they should have life and joy and peace ; 
and therefore it is that the Lord hallowed the Sabbath Day, 
for in that day were completed the works of God, and He 


liaJ delight in all the things that He had made. And 
when God afterwards brought the children of Israel, whom 
He had chosen to be His own property, out of Egypt, the 
house of bondage, He commanded them to remember the 
Sabbath Day and to keep that holy, thus teaching them 
that that Jehovah who had brought them out of Egypt, 
the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, was not merely 
their God, but He was the God of heaven and of earth, and 
therefore the Sabbath Day, as it commemorated the creation, 
so it also brought vividly before them their redemption, 
and was a sign between Jehovah and His people that they 
were united together. And as God aiDpointed the seventh 
day to be kept holy, so He appointed the seventh month to 
be holy unto Himself. And in that seventh month there 
was the feast of trumpets, and the beginning of the year, 
and also the day of atonement. And as the seventh 
month was holy, so the seventh year was holy, and the 
earth was to rest from its toil and labour, and everything that 
was brouo^ht forth of its own accord was to be free unto 
the poor and unto the stranger, and even unto the beasts 
of the field. And as the seventh year was holy, so the 
seven times seventh year, the fiftieth year, was the year 
of Jubilee, where again there was to be no labour, where 
all debts were remitted, where all slaves and bondsmen 
were emancipated, and where there was to be great joy 
throughout the whole land, ushered in on the evening of the 
day of atonement, that through the forgiveness of sin there 
was now come the year of thanksgiving and of rejoicing 
before the Lord. It was the seventh day, the seventh 
month, the seventh year, and the fiftieth year, for 7 is the 
holy number — 3, the number of God — 4, the number of the 
world — 3, the number of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — 4, 
the number of the created thingrs, the four livinsf being^s, 
the four rivers in the Garden of Eden, east and west, and 
south and north, the four corners of the earth. Seven, 


then, is the number of God in the creation, and thus the 
whole time of the Israelitish nation was a time that was 
filled with music. It was not like the wilderness, in which 
there was no division, in which there was no break. It 
was not like the maze, in which there was no organization. 
It was not like mere sound, in which there was no rhythm ; 
but it was filled with manifestation of God, and with the 
music which makes glad the heart of man. 

But besides these sevenths, the Jews had their festivals. 
They had a festival, — a Passover, — when God brought the 
children of Israel out of Egypt through the sheddiog of the 
blood of the Paschal Lamb; and on the morrow after the 
Sabbath of the Passover, as you remember, there was the 
beginning of the harvest — the barley harvest — and the sheaf 
was waved from earth unto God. And fifty days after that 
there was the Pentecost, when the harvest was completed, 
and when the two loaves, not of barley, but of wheat, not 
without leaven, but with leaven, were presented unto the 
Lord ; and asfain there was the feast of the tabernacles, 
reminding the Jews of the time when they had been in 
the wilderness living as it were in tents and booths. But 
thank sg^ivins: unto God also was connected with that, for 
the vintage was over, the fruit was gathered in, and also 
the oil had been brought in. In all these festivals Israel 
was to rejoice before the Lord. 

Now before I pass on to the meaning of these festivals, 
let me remind you of the character of these festivals. 

In the first place, there was joy abounding unto the 
people. God is the God of love, of benevolence, of 
generosity. Although sin has abounded unto death, the 
love of God abounds unto exceeding great joy. There 
must be weeping for a night, but "joy cometh in the 
morning." God wants us to be restored unto paradise, in 
which there was fullness of pleasures from before His 
presence ; and therefore the Jewish religion was a religion 


of gladness. There were few fast days. There were many 
days in which the people were to rejoice before God. 

Learn also that God wanted to impress upon Israel that 
He was a God of wealth abounding. Never mind about 
the land. God will take care of the land, and there will 
be a three-fold harvest the year before the seventh. Never 
mind about the fiftieth year. There will be no impoverish- 
ing of the nation, for the Lord will abundantly make up 
that which in obedience to Him is done unto Him, for God 
wants His people to be generous. He does not wish them 
to be narrow-minded and close calculators. He does not 
wish them to think that profit and loss 'and political 
economy are altogether governed by laws of supply and 
demand, or the laws of nature, but He wishes them to 
remember that the Lord is our Host, and that we are His 
guests, and that He has provided for us a bountiful and a 
liberal board, and He wants His people to be courageous 
and enterprising and liberal, and to go forth with this 
thought, " He who condescends to be our God and the joy 
of our soul, will He not provide food for the body and 
raiment to put on ? " 

But notice, in the third place, all the festivals of Israel 
had a three-fold aspect. They commemorated the past. 
God brought us out of Egypt. God gave unto us the law. 
God led us in the wilderness. But while they commemor- 
ated the past, they realized the present existence of God. 
*'We now rejoice before Him." This very day He loves 
us, and looks down upon us. But while they thus realized 
the present, they looked forward into the future, for all 
these festivals were only types and shadows of the things 
that were to come. 

And now let me speak of the fulfilment. For "the 
body is Christ " ; the substance is Christ, anticipated by 
faith in the olden days, but noAV realized by us in a fuller 


What is the Sabbath Day? "Come unto Me, all ye that 
labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 
This is the Sabbath Day. On the Sabbath Days the Jews 
were not allowed to fast. If a fast-day happened to fall 
on a Sabbath Day, it was postponed, for when we rest in 
God how is it possible for us to be sad ? How can the 
children of the bridechamber fast while the bridesfroom 
is with them ? 

Look at the Passover. On the Passover Jesus was 
crucified. The Paschal Lamb was offered without spot 
and without blemish. Not a bone of His sacred body was 
broken. Exactly as the type had prefigured it, so was 
He offered up unto God. And on the morrow after the 
Sabbath Day He came forth the Sheaf, the Branch out 
of the earth. He grew up as it were before Jehovah. 
Such a man God had never seen before. Oh, what a 
contrast between the first Adam and the last Adam ! 
" The first Adam a living soul ; the last Adam a quicken- 
ing Spirit." Suffering and death were behind Him. He 
had died once unto sin, but now He lived unto God. 
Here is the glorious Head of humanity coming forth out 
of the earth, a sheaf waved from the earth unto God, that 
He might sit at the right hand of the Father. But not 
merely was He this sheaf; He was the Kepresentative 
Sheaf. Christ rose from the dead, the first-fruits of them 
that slept. He rose out of the grave as our represent- 
ative. He died for sins which were not His own; He 
rose in order to be the Pighteousness of His people, and 
in Him we also are raised and brought near unto God. 
Oh, how beautifully is the Passover fulfilled unto us ! 
Christ our Passover is offered ; Christ the first-fruits of 
the dead is risen. We are brought out of Egypt, the 
house of bondage. We have been redeemed with the 
precious Blood of the Lamb of God. 

And on the fiftieth day came the Pentecost. On that 


day the result of the harvest — the completion of the 
harvest — was to be shown. As Jesus said, " If the corn 
of wheat die not it abideth alone, but if it die it abideth 
not alone, but bringeth forth fruit." As Jesus said when 
He looked upon the fields, " The fields are white unto 
harvest," so there were now the first-fruits of all the 
creatures of God gathered in, in the one hundred and 
twenty disciples — in the three thousand that believed and 
that heard the counsel of God, and proclaimed in all the 
various languages in anticipation of that final harvest 
when round Israel all the nations of the earth shall be 
gathered to praise and to magnify the Lord ; whereas the 
feast of tabernacles remains still in the future, when all 
the wilderness and pilgrimage shall have come to an 
end, and when the Kingdom of God shall be established 
upon the earth in outward manifestation and beauty. 

Now the disciples knew that the Paschal Lamb had 
been offered. They knew that Jesus had risen from the 
dead. They were now waiting for the outpouring of the 
Holy Ghost, but it did not happen until the day of 
Pentecost was " fully come." 

Let me go on now to remind you of those outward 
manifestations and signs which accompanied the gift of 
the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. 

There is one God ; and why should we be astonished to 
find that one and same God everywhere, both in the 
kingdom that is visible, and in the kingdom that is in- 
visible? See how God did not allow Israel ever to 
separate between the things which are seen and the 
things which are not seen — how all those Jewish festivals, 
although they commemorated the covenant dealings of 
God with His people, were also in connection with the 
natural seasons of the year — with the harvest which God 
gave unto His people — with the outward blessings with 
which He surrounded them. And therefore we find that. 

p P 


ill all Scripture the believing Israelite sees God near unto 
him. It is the same God to him who appoints the sun, 
the moon, and the stars — who gives food unto the ravens 
that cry unto Him, and who divided the waves of the Red 
Sea that His people might pass through them. Now do 
not mistake it. The Bible does acknowledge the kingdom 
of nature. The Bible does acknowledge that there are 
laws of nature. If the Bible did not acknowledge that, 
there would be no miracle. If everything is mere 
accident, nothing is mere accident. If we say that the 
converting of water into wine at the marriage of Cana is 
nothing different from the way in which God gives us 
wine in the grapes, then that is only confusing boundary 
lines which God Himself has made. There is a kingdom 
of nature; there are the laws of nature; at the same 
time, it is God's kingdom, and it is the laws which He 
has established, and which at any time, if it pleases Him 
in His infinite wisdom and power. He may suspend in 
order to remind us of His existence, and to teach us the 
more important lessons of the spiritual world. But, on 
the other hand, is it not natural — is it not reasonable to 
suppose — that there will be a parallelism between those 
two kingdoms — that the God of creation, the God of 
providence, the God of redemption, and the God of final 
glory will be the centre of all these various circles ? 
When we are told that before the foundations of the world 
were laid Christ was set up in the counsel of God — nay, 
when the whole creation, the six days and the seventh 
day, are full of illustrations of the gospel of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, how can it be otherwise but that everywhere 
we shall see the wonderful interference of God at certain 
times ? Therefore in history, when we read history — when 
we read of the wonderful victory that the Greeks achieved 
over the prowess of the East — when we read of the 
wonderful way in which the Roman Empire was estab- 


lished — this is what people call profaae history; but it is 
sacred history ; it is the going forth of God according to 
the redemption plan. It is with reference to Jesus that 
all these things happen. It is according to the prophecy 
Avhich God gave unto His chosen servants. It is to bring- 
about the final fifth monarchy when Jesus shall rule upon 
the earth, and likewise in the kingdom of nature. Every 
Christian must rejoice over every progress of science, but 
every Christian must feel fully established in his own 
mind that it is the Lord who is God. 

Now we see in the Old Testament that the ooinas forth 
of God in redemption were always accompanied with 
outward visible signs. Take for instance the Exodus. 
What is the most important thing in the Exodus ? The 
Paschal Lamb, and the fact that it was God who brouaht 
out His people. But were there not great and mighty 
signs which everj^body could see, whether he was a 
believer or not ? Was not the river Nile turned into 
blood ? Were not the powers of nature, as it were, 
summoned in order to show forth unto the Egyptians the 
power of God and the severity of God ? Was not the Red 
Sea divided ? Were there not these miracles ? They are 
not the most important, but they are as it vv'ere shadows 
of that brightness of spiritual power which God shows 
forth. Take again the passing of the children of Israel 
through the wilderness. What is the most important 
thing there? That God led them; that Christ was 
among them ; that faith was exercised. But were there 
not miracles? Was there not the manna from heaven? 
Was there not the rock that gave forth the water ? Was 
there not the healing through looking at the brazen 
serpent? Again, take Elijah. When God revealed Him- 
self unto Elijah, was there not the earthquake and the fire 
before there came the still small voice ? Or when Jesus 
was born. What is the most important thing there ? 


y^hy, nothing can for a single moment be compared to 
this — the Word was made flesh. That is the greatest 
miracle. But was there not the star, a miraculous thing 
that brought the wise men from the East in order that 
they might worship the new-born King of the Jews ? 
Take again when Jesus was upon the earth. Was there 
not a voice which came down from ?ieaven and said, " This 
is My beloved Son," and everybody heard that voice ? It 
was the Bath-Kol, as the Hebrews called it — an audible 
voice from heaven. The people said it thundered, and 
some said an angel spake unto Him, but Jesus said, " It 
was for your sakes that this voice came down." Again, 
Avhen Jesus died upon the cross. Marvel of marvels ! 
God incarnate 1 After Jesus died there were great out- 
ward manifestations of God's power. There came dense 
darkness over the whole land. What was the meaning of 
that ? When Jesus first appeared preaching the gospel, 
the prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled, " The people that sat 
in darkness have seen a wonderful light." The Jews 
rejected Jesus. When they put Him to death they had 
rejected Him. Therefore God, the Father, sent a dense 
darkness over all the earth in order to symbolize unto the 
nation that in the rejection of Jesus Israel had rejected 
the sun, the fountain of all light. Then the veil in the 
temple was rent in twain. What was that to show ? 
That the access into the holy of holies had been made 
manifest. Then the earth quaked, and the rocks were 
rent. What was that to show ? As Haggai says, " I shall 
shake the earth before the final restoration comes." The 
death of Jesus is that upon which the whole renovation of 
the earth is based. Then the graves were opened, and 
the dead men went forth and appeared unto their friends 
in the holy city. What was the meaning of that, but 
that Jesus had the key of Hades, and that the just men 
of tlje old disj^ensation were made perfect through the 


accomplishing of the sacrifice ? So we have in all the 
dealings of God in redemption at important periods of the 
history of God's people outward and visible signs. And 
when Jesus will come again — who knows when it will be ? — 
but when Jesus will come again there will be again signs 
and wonders in heaven above and upon the earth below. 
Men shall see it in the moon, and in the stars, and in the 
rocks, and in all things around them when the day of the 
Lord is approaching. Therefore we, who believe in God, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one Lord, are not astonished 
at all those wonderful outward signs and manifestations 
which are recorded in the Word of God. And it is nothing 
but the latent unbelief in the heart which does not wish 
to acknowledge God the Creator of heaven and earth. 
Although it wishes to acknowledge Him, it does not wish to 
have Him near — does not wish to have Him come again 
and manifest His power ; it is only this latent unbelief of 
the heart which finds fault with those miracles which are 
recorded to us in Holy Scripture. 

Now let us look at the outward signs which accompanied 
the descent of the Holy Ghost. 

" Suddenly." Suddenly. They had been praying for 
ten days, and yet it was suddenly. God often in answer 
to our 251'ayers hesitates as it were, and leaves a clear 
margin in order to show that He does it" in sovereignty, 
whenever He chooses, in order to remind us that although 
it is through our prayers, it is not on account of our 
prayers, and that He is the first in all things. 

" From above." Holy disciples had now quite a different 
view of above from what they had before. The heavens 
were now opened unto them. As Jesus said unto 
Nathaniel — " Henceforth ye shall see the heavens opened." 
Right through the sky, into the Holy of Holies, they were 
able to look now with the eye of faith. Jesus was there 
— the same Jesus whom they had known upon the earth. 


Ob, how homely was heaven to them! "In My Father's 
house I go to prepare a place for you," The very Jesus 
Avho was above all blessings will now come down, and the 
manifestations addressed themselves to the ear and to the 
eye. There was a sound as of a mighty rushing wind. 
Notice the caution of Scripture. It does not say it was 
a wind, but " as of!' It says it was like fire ; that is to say, 
the human words by which we can express that reality 
which appeared — the most approximate expressions for it — 
are to say that it was like the mighty rushing wind, or it 
was like fire. The wind, you know, is the emblem of the 
Spirit of God. First, it is mysterious and sovereign, 
beyond our control. " The wind bloweth where it listeth." 
Thou hearest the sound thereof, but thou knowest not 
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth. Besides its being 
mysterious, it is full of power. We cannot see the wind. 
It may come very gently, as it were on the curls of a 
little infant, and not disturb them, but it may come with 
a mighty and irresistible energy. The wind is also an 
emblem of the life-giving power of God. As in the thirty- 
seventh chapter of Ezekiel the prophet beheld the many 
bones that were very dry scattered upon the field, and the 
wdnd arose and breathed upon them, even the Spirit of 
the Lord, and they were quickened, and stood up, a mighty 
army. Or, again, it may be animating, arousing, and 
alarming. " Awake, O north wind, and come, thou south ; 
blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow 
out. Let my beloved come into His garden, and eat His 
pleasant fruits." The rushing mighty wind came down 
from heaven, and made Himself felt in the whole of the 

The second emblem was fire. Ah, dear friend, through 
the winter nights when you are looking into the fire, does 
it not remind you of something ? God is the fire — emblem 
of purity. In God is nothing but light and purity. God 


is fire. "Our God is a consuming fire." The holiness 
of God, which separates from itself everything that is 
impure, which must consume everything that is ungodly — 
wherever the love of God expresses itself as the fire of 
wrath. Fire is the emblem of brightness and of heat, 
bringing with it life and fervour. Fire also is the emblem 
of that which cannot but communicate itself, even as the 
light cannot remain in itself — must go forth, and bring 
light and gladness unto others. Do you remember how 
Moses when he was minding the sheep of his father. 
Jethro, saw a great marvel in the wilderness — a marvel- 
lous phenomenon — a bush burning and yet not consumed ? 
And out of the fire of that bush, who spoke unto him ? 
God spoke unto him — God the Son, the angel of the 
covenant, that led Israel through the wilderness. Do you 
remember the blessing that was given to Joseph — the 
favour of Him that was in the bush ? Christ was in the 
bush ; and the burning bush is not so much an emblem 
of the Church as an emblem of the Son of God taking 
upon Him our humanity, entering in His humanity into 
the fire of God's holiness and yet not consumed, for through 
the atonement of Jesus, the fire of God unto them is 
now a fire of blessing — a fire of life and a fire of strength. 
And thus was it that the Holy Ghost came in His outward 
manifestations of the wind and of the fire. 

Now, in conclusion, let me ask, have you received the 
wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost — the wonderful gift of 
the Holy Ghost? Jesus only is able to give it. But let 
me say to any among you who do not know the wonderful 
gift of the Holy Ghost, there is no preparation on your 
part needed for receiving it. There is no delay. There 
are no conditions laid down. Jesus is willing and able to 
give the Holy Ghost unto every one that comes unto Him. 
Oh, do you not remember that beautiful hour when Jesus 
our Saviour sat thus on the well, and when the poor 


woman of Samaria came there, ignorant, thoughtless^ 
frivolous, sinful, and Jesus said unto her, ''If thou knewest 
the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee. Give 
Me to drink, thou wouldest ask Him, and He would give 
unto thee living water " ? So with every one, and any one 
that knows the gift. "If thou knewest" — if you knew 
there is such a person as Jesus, the Son of God, Saviour 
of sinners, sender forth of the Holy Ghost, who alone can 
give rest unto those who are burdened and heavy-laden ; 
who alone can give pardon unto those that liave sinned 
against God ; who alone can open the kingdom of heaven 
to the guilty and tliose that have departed from the Lord. 
"If thou knewest the gift of God," purchased with blood, 
coming out of the sovereign free goodwill of the Father. 
" If thou knewest the ©ift of God." 

But knowing is not eiiough. All of you know it. You 
must ask, you must wish it. You must not merely say, 
" It is a desirable thing," but '* I wish it." You must not 
merely say, " I wish it," but you must say, " I will it." 
You must not merely say, " I will it," but you must say 
" I will lose anything and everything, but I must get that." 
You must not merely say, " I must get it," but you must 
say, *' It is for Him to give it. I have no claim on it. I 
will ask Him. I will ask Him." "If thou knewest the 
gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me 
to drink, thou wouldest have asked Him, and then, without 
any delay or uncertainty, He would give unto thee that 
living water." 

And oh, what a blessed thing when we have come to 
Jesus — when we have entered in by the door, and when 
we have received from Him the living water ! You 
remember the beginning of that wonderful poem of Dante, 
when he describes the gate of hell and the inscription on 
that gate. '* Give up all hope, ye who enter here." Ah, 
there is another dooi, Jesus the crucitied and now exalted 


Redeemer, leading unto heaven, and on that door is written, 
" Give up nMfear, all ye that enter here ; " and the moment 
we have entered in through that open door, and are inside 
the door, and look back on the other side of the door, we 
read this inscription, " None of those who have entered in 
can ever be lost." Jesus will take care that if you have 
once entered in by the door you will never be lost, for 
" My sheep heai- My voice, and I know them, and they 
follow Me, and I give unto them eternal life, and they 
shall never perish, nor shall any one pluck them out of My 
hands." Jesus seals us with His Holy Spirit unto the day 
of Redemption. Oh, that we also may know the day of 
Pentecost fully come ! Amen. 



T WISH to speak to you this morning on the wise 
■^ virgins, and especially that which distinguishes the 
wise virgins from the foolish virgins. All the ten appeared 
as virgins. All the ten went forth to meet the bridegroom. 
All the ten had lamps in their hands, and the lamps were 
burning. All the ten slumbered and slept. What then 
was the difference between the w^ise virgins and the 
foolish virgins ? The difference is mentioned by our Lord 
in these simple words — that the wise took oil in their 
vessels with their lamps. This and this only constituted 
the difference upon which such might}^ and awful issues 
depend. The wise had not merely lamps burning, but 
the wise, foreseeing the delay, took also in the vessels 
which belonged to the lamps a supply of oil. 

And this, dear friends, is the one point of which I 
would speak to you to-day. You know that there are 
more warnings addressed in the Word of God to professing 
believers than even to the wicked and the worldly. There 
are more passages in Scripture which are addressed to 
those who appear to be believers and who think them- 
selves believers, showing them the possibility that in the 
sight of God they are unsaved, and that their final end 
will be destruction. 

Those who do not receive the Word of God at all are not 

Preached in Belgrave Presbyterian Church, on Sunday Morninij, 
July 1, 1883. 


treated of by our Lord in the parable of the sower ; but of 
those who do receive the Word of God, He tells us that 
three classes receive it in vain, and that only one class 
receive it in reality. "Not every one that says unto 
the Lord, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven." Not merely a few, but many who profess to be 
believers in the Name of Jesus, who liave even the gift of 
explaining the gospel, who are even successful in the work 
of the gospel — many shall appear in that day to have had 
only the form of godliness without the power. The opinion 
of your fellow-believers does not decide the matter; for he 
who was admitted to the marriage feast was considered by 
every one to be fit until the Lord Himself came and asked, 
" Friend, how camest thou hither, not having on a wedding 
garment ? " Even among the twelve apostles one of them 
was Judas the son of perdition. And of ten virgins, five 
were wise, and five foolish ; not in the estimation of the 
world, and very likely not in their own estimation, but in 
the estimation of Him " who searcheth the hearts, and 
trieth the reins." 

Now when we think of this, the question arises in our 
minds, whether we have any life within us, and any anxiety 
about our future salvation. " Lord, is it I ? " If we re- 
member that not all who are called are roused — that not 
all who are roused are convinced — that not all who are 
convinced are brought to believe in Jesus — that not all 
who appear to believe in Jesus really do believe in Jesus 
— oh, then the question must arise in our mind, " What 
is that all-important, all-decisive, mysterious element 
known only to God, which distinguishes the precious from 
the vile, and the chosen from those who shall ultimately 
be lost ? " No doubt this is the impression ^vhich the 
parable of the ten virgins leaves upon every one with 
whom God's Spirit is dealing at all ; but, if the impression 
that was left was merelv one of fear and of terror, it would 


not be the impression which is intended by the Holy 
Ghost; for fear contracts the heart, and when the heart 
is contracted, then there is no communion with God. It 
is by the heart being opened, expanded, melted — it is by 
the heart trusting, by the heart going forth in confidence, 
that the work of salvation in the soul is begun, continued, 
and completed. That paralyzing fear has nothing to do 
with the gospel, but belongs to the law. It was that fear 
which took hold of the unprofitable servant, who said — 
" Oh, salvation is no easy matter. Salvation is a very 
solemn matter. There are a great many risks that are 
possible here ; and therefore, knowing that the Lord is a 
severe master, I will be very careful that I keep the talent 
entrusted to me." And he became an unprofitable servant, 
and was cast out into the outer darkness. Then what is 
to be the effect of this parable on you — on me ? It is to 
be this — that with our fear, with our misgiving, with our 
consciousness of our own sinfulness, and of the deceitful- 
ness of our hearts, we should be sincerely dealing with 
God Himself: we should oo into the lidit of God: we 
should deal with our heavenly Father, who is full of love, 
and with that Saviour who died on the Cross, and who 
is full of mercy and compassion, and be intensely interested 
about our salvation in the presence of God and of Jesus 
Christ; and knowing that this must be the secret life 
from our apparent conversion even until we end and stand 
before Jesus, — that all the time we are having our calling 
and our election confirmed unto us, and that all the time 
we are in communion with God, and that all the time 
there is a secret betw^een the Shepherd and the sheep, so 
that Jesus says, "I am known of Mine, and I know them," 
so that at the last what has gone on, point to point, day 
to day, forms one continuous line until Jesus says — and 
says before the whole world — " Come, ye blessed of My 
Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you. ' 


Two points in Christ's history stand out pre-eminentl3\ 
One is when He died upon the Cross, and shed His 
precious BJood for remission of sins. That is the love of 
Christ in dying, "the just for the unjust." " Greater love 
hath no man than this." Greater love there is not, even 
in the depths of Godhead. Greater sacrifice never will be 
beheld by this universe. The highest point, the culmin- 
ating point, of the love of God is on the Cross of Christ. 
Throughout all eternity there will be nothing grander; 
there will be nothing more beautiful and glorious to be 
thouofht of than the death of Jesus on the Cross. On the 
other side of eternity there is nothing more wonderful 
than what you are going to commemorate this very 
morning. Throughout all eternity angels and saints will 
know no other subject of praise and of adoration but the 
Blood of the Lamb that was slain. 

But as this is the one point, so the other point is the 
return of Jesus, when He will bring everlasting blessed- 
ness and glory to all that wait for His appearing. When 
we think and feel these two points, then we have the 
whole influence of J3ivine life and power acting upon 
ourselves — the love of the past, the glory of the future — 
the death of Jesus on the Cross — the appearing of Jesus 
for His Bride. This is the fire of gratitude, and of love, 
and of devotedness, and this is the fire of anxiety to 
please Him, and of hope and of perseverance. \Yithout 
these two we cannot live properly, and therefore the 
Lord's Supper is all-comprehensive. If the Lord's Supper 
is that one institution by which Jesus Christ nourishes 
and cherishes the Church, which is His Body, it is simply 
because it brings before us these two points — Christ's 
death on the Cross, and Christ's appearing to take us 
unto Himself, Without the death of Christ on the Cross 
there is no Christian life. Without the expectation of the 
return of Jesus there is no healthful Christian life. Those 


two must go together. When the Church forgets the 
Atonement, and when the Church forgets the second 
advent of the Lord, it has reached its freezing-point. In 
the Blood is the Hfe of the Church ; and in personal love 
to Jesus, and waiting for His return, is the life of the 

The ten virgins went forth to meet the Bridegroom. 
Look at the wise virgins as we see them now in the 
light of eternity, and as we see them now with the eyes 
of Jesus. They had been separated from the world. 
They had tasted that the Lord is gracious. They had 
chosen Jesus to be the lover of their soul. They were 
waiting now for His appearing, and for their entry into 
the full enjoyment and fruition of the blessing which was 
already theirs. Lamps they had in their hands, and the 
lamps were burning ; but their desire was not merely to 
appear to be Christians : their desire was to be Christians. 
Their anxiety was not merely for the present moment. 
Their desire was to have within them that which would 
last and endure ; and therefore it was that, besides having 
the oil burning in the lamp, they had provided themselves 
also with oil to last them through the long delay. To 
please the bridegroom — to be really in communion with 
Him — to have that which, unknown and unobserved of the 
world, was known and observed by Him, and which would 
ever stand by them through all the various experiences 
and vicissitudes of their course — that was their anxiety. 

Now the brideojroom tarried, and while the brideo^room 
tarried all the virgins fell asleep. Yet there was a differ- 
ence between the sleep of the wise virgins and the sleep 
of the foolish virgins. Oh, dear friends, our natural life 
requires sleep, and sleep is no loss of time for our physical 
life or for our mental life, because the rest is necessary in 
order that the energies both of body and of mind should 
be recruited, and that then we should be able to begin a 


new course. Not until we have new bodies and perfected 
souls shall we be able to serve the Lord day and night 
without any intermission. In this outward life of ours 
sleep is a blessing. Sleei^ is no loss of time. Sleep does 
not weaken us. But in the spiritual life there ought not 
to be a moment of sleep, for the night is past, and the sun 
is shining, and Jesus is the light ; and He has given to us 
in Himself a fullness out of which we are to take con- 
tinually, and grace for grace. Then we are not to close 
our eyes ; and not to give in to dreams and imaginations, 
aud not to be separated from communion with Him. Tlie 
sleep into which the wise virgins fell may have been a 
culpable sleep. There is the enchanted ground, and even 
Christians often are influenced by the fascinations of the 
world — by the false notions of the world — by the low 
standard that is in the Church. And there are times in 
the life of most Christians when, owing either to the 
enjoyments, or to the many occupations, or to the troubles 
of this our present earthly life, they become dead to 
Christ, lukewarm, confused in their minds, not hearincf 
distinctly His voice ; and mingled visions, indistinct and 
vague and erroneous, come into their thoughts, so that the 
voice of God and the voice of the world are heard in 
confusion. Ah, then the wonderful compassion of Jesus 
watches over His poor and guilty one, and it may be 
through severe chastening and bitter experience such a 
one is brought back again to allegiance to his Saviour. 
But it is possible that this sleep of the wise virgins was 
like the sleep of Peter, John, and James, when Jesus, 
scarcely rebuking them, said unto them, " Can you not 
watch even one hour with Me ? " However that may 
have been, it was a different sleep from the sleep of the 
foolish virgins, for when the wise virgins were aroused 
by the voice, "The bridegroom cometh," there was no 
consternation in their mind. Gladly they rose. Collected 


were their thoughts. Fixed was their affection. Sure 
was their faith. And they trimmed their lamps. And 
as a smile irradiates the countenance of one who sees 
a long-missed friend again, so the oil went through their 
whole mind and soul, and with renewed strength and 
renewed joy they went forth to meet the bridegroom. " I 
sleep, but my heart waketh." So says the bride in the 
Song of Solomon, and such may have been the sleep of 
these five virgins. But when they were roused by the 
voice, they were collected : they had oil in their lamps : 
they were ready; and they went in, and they became 
partakers of the joy of the bridegroom, for they had been 
wise virgins who had taken oil in their vessels with their 

Now what was the oil, and what was the takinof of the 
oil in the vessels ? In the parable of the Steward, what 
the Lord wishes to show to us is faithfulness in service. 
In the i^arable which is afterwards mentioned, of the 
Judgment, when all the nations of the world appeared 
before the throne of God, what the Lord wishes to im- 
press upon our minds is mercifulness during this present 
dispensation to all who are poor and needy, or lonely or 
sick — faithfulness in service — mercifulness during this 
dispensation of affliction and trial. But in the parable 
of the Virgins our Lord does not dwell upon the outward 
action, or upon the dispensing of those gifts which we 
have received. He dwells upon the inward state and 
condition. It is the inward condition of the five virgins 
which is brought before us, and that is symbolized by the 
fact that they had oil with their lamps. In one word, 
they were spiritually-minded; and to be spiritually- 
minded is the only way of being watchful. Not by 
studying prophecy, — not by being like the Apostles, gazing 
into heaven when they saw Jesus disappear in the sky, 
but by having oil in the vessel with the lamps — by being 


spiritually-minded — by being in communion with the 
Lord continually, and by treasuring up unto ourselves, 
through continuous dealings with God, we attain to that 
state of watchfulness, of collectedness, and of joy fulness, 
that whenever the Lord Jesus comes we are ready to go 
in with Him to the marriage. 

The key to explain to us the taking of the oil in the 
vessels, and having a reserve fund, is given to us in the 
passage in the Second Epistle of Peter, which we have 
read to-day. All things which pertain to life and godliness 
are ^Aven to us in Christ Jesus. When a man is con- 
verted — when a man is brought to the Lord Jesus Christ 
— there is in that Jesus Christ everything that he needs : — 
pardon for his sins — renewal for his heart — strength for 
his energies — purpose for his will — knowledge for his 
mind ; all patience, all watchfulness, all meekness, all 
power of forgiving the trespasses of his neighbour. There 
is no sin but he can overcome ; there is no temptation but 
he can resist and conquer ; there is no grace but he can 
take it out of the fullness of Christ ; there is no difficult 
task but he can perform it, for all things which pertain 
unto life and godliness are treasured up in Christ Jesus. 
But this he must do. He must not be like the foolish 
virgins, and say, '' Oh, I am converted : I am so happy. 
Do you not see that my lamp is burning ? " — more bent 
upon appearing to be a Christian than on being a 
Christian — more bent on having peace and enjoyment 
and consolation for his soul than really pleasing the Lord, 
and having communion with Him. Then begins his real 
work. Why, up to this you have not been able to do 
anything but mischief. Now begins the real work. 
Seeing that He has given unto us all things which pertain 
to life and godliness, bring out of these one thing after 
the other. To faith, add virtue ; to virtue, add knowledge ; 
and to knowledge, add temperance; and to temperance, 

E E 


add brotherly love; and to brotherly love, add charity. 
Bring out what is given to you in Christ first. Or again, 
as the Apostle Paul writes to the Philippians, " Because I 
love you. I have you in my heart ; but I am confident of 
this very thing, that he who hatli begun a good work will 
perform it unto the day of Christ " — not with paralyzing 
fear which the unprofitable servant had, but the heart 
expanded in truthfulness to Jesus, who died for us, and 
who surely loves us much more now that He has brought 
us unto Himself. And he says, " I am anxious that you 
should increase more and more in all knowledge ; that you 
should approve the things that are excellent ; and that you 
should be found to be sincere and without blame in the 
day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, 
which are not of your exertion, but by Christ Jesus, to the 
glory of God." This having the reserve fund — the oil in 
the lamp — is, that, according as the Apostle Peter teaches 
us, and according as the Apostle Paul teaches us, we are 
trusting in Jesus, abiding in Jesus, going daily to Jesus, 
leaning on Jesus, and treasuring up to ourselves continually 
more light, more love, more faith, more patience, more 
self-denial, more forgivingness, more meekness, more self- 
control, more everything that is like the Lord Jesus 
Christ. They took oil with them in their vessels with the 
lamp. Not for the world to see or admire. It was a 
secret between them and the Lord. Oh, if you love any 
one very much, you do like to speak to him without any 
third person being present. It is a secret between the 
Lord Jesus Christ and the soul. Enoch walked with God. 
Oh, how simple is this expression, yet how delightful, how 
perfectly self-illuminating ! Enoch walked with God ; and 
if we walk with God, every day must be progress : every 
day must be a renewal : every day must be replenishing. 
They took oil with them in the vessels with the lamps. 
'' Buy for yourselves." That is what the wise virgins 


said to the foolish. " Buy for yourselves." No books, no 
ministers, no meetings, no medium here between you and 
the Lord. It is a personal transaction. It is a daily 
transaction. It is a dealing with the Lord. Buy for 
yourselves ; for what you need you only can know. What 
you wish to obtain from the Lord cannot be understood 
perfectly by any other person, and the obtaining of it is a 
personal thing between you and the Lord. Oh what an 
expression that is ! " Buy." It is said, " Ho, every one 
that thirsteth, come ye, and he that hath no money, buy : 
buy wine and milk without money and without price." 
Ay, it is true that it is of grace, according as He hath 
given unto us all things which pertain unto life and godli- 
ness. As free as the precious blood of Jesus, so free is 
every gift, every virtue, every feature of sanctification, 
which God in Jesus bestows upon us. Only trust Him as 
freely for replenishing you with the oil as 3^ou trust Him 
for having given you the first knowledge of Himself as a 

But there is something else implied in the buying. It 
does not merely mean that it is for nothing. It means 
also the very opposite — that you must pay everything that 
you have in order to get it; for when the merchant had 
sought goodly pearls, and discovered the pearl of great 
price, he sold all that he had in order to get into possession 
of that one. " Buy for yourselves." That was the search- 
ing message to the foolish virgins. They had never given 
themselves, and everything that they were and had, in 
order to obtain that one thing that was necessary. 

But, still farther, if you ask, " Why is all this compared 
with oil ? " the answer occurs to you, that it is not merely 
as a beautiful illustration — a most marvellous illustration. 
If you look upon that parable simply as a skilful parable, 
you must be astonished at it — how in a story which was 
continually occurring, and with which all the people there 


were perfectly familiar, our Lord Jesus Christ has illustrated 
the most various and important truths in the experience 
of spiritual life. But the oil, we know, means the Spirit 
of God. It means that Holy Ghost who from the Father 
and the Son descends into the hearts of God's jDeople, 
who converts, who sanctifies, who enlightens, who comforts, 
who imparts to us all the treasures of the Divine Grace. 
Bat it does not mean the Holy Ghost Himself merely, 
but that which is born of the Holy Ghost. That which is 
of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is 
spirit. The oil in the vessels along with the lamps means 
the spiritual mind of the Christian. As I said before — 
and this is the point of the whole parable — to be spiritually- 
minded is to be watchful : to be in the Spirit is to keep 
up the communion with the Lord Jesus Christ : to be in 
the Spirit is the test whether we have been converted, for 
" If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of 

But now there remains the most important point still to 
be noticed. You can have no doubt what Jesus intends 
of you. You can have no doubt that Jesus does not wish 
any of His disciples to be in a state of consternation when 
He comes. You can have no doubt that Jesus wants you 
to receive Him with a joyful face — that He wants you to 
be ready for Him, to say, " Lo, this is our God : we have 
waited for Him with gladness, and we welcome Him, 
knowing that He loves us, and that He will give to us now 
the full fruition of what His death on the Cross has produced 
for us." We are to be ready : we are to be prepared ; we 
are to be rejoicing. And whence is it we are to derive 
this readiness? In the parable of the Wise Virgins it is 
hinted to us. In the institution of the Lord's Supper it is 
put before us clearly, so that we can perceive it even with 
our outward senses. There is no other preparation for 
the second advent but the eating that Body which is fcod 


and bread indeed, and drinking that Blood which is drink 
indeed. The oil, the Holy Ghost, the spiritual mind, 
comes only out of one channel. You know that the Holy 
Ghost could not be given, until Jesus had died upon the 
Cross and was glorified. There is no oil except it comes 
out of the riven side of Jesus. There is no Spirit but as it 
comes with the Blood of Christ. It is by our continually 
remembering the salvation of Christ on the Cross — it is by 
our continually holding fast the beginning of our confidence 
— it is by our continually sitting spiritually at the Lord's 
Supper, and dwelling upon the death of Jesus, and the love 
which Jesus had when He died for us — it is only in this 
way that the Spirit is given unto us, and that we are kept 
watchful and ready to receive our Lord. 

Exclude then from your mind everything that is legal 
— all fear which is of bondage — all self-righteousness or 
self-sanctification. " By Christ ye have been saved through 
faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God." 
The forgiveness of sin is your starting-point, and not the 
goal towards which you strive. You have already obtained 
through faith the love of God, the favour of God, and the 
everlasting salvation of God. Eat this; drink this; and 
you have filled your vessels with oil; and thus looking 
back to the Cross of Jesus is the only preparation and the 
only strength in which we can look forward to the coming 
of Jesus. Amen. 



DR. Keith's illness — the archduchess. 

The following are extracts from articles written by Dr. 
Keith, and published in the Sunday at Home in 1867, in 
which he describes his illness at Pesth, and wonderful re- 
covery, and the kindness of the Archduchess ; and the way by 
which this illness led, in God's providence, to the establish- 
ment of the mission to the Jews in Pesth. Speaking of the 
deputation, or Commission of Inquiry, from the Church of 
►Scotland (appointed to visit different countries, with a view 
to the planting of Jewish missions), composed of himself. 
Professor Black of Aberdeen, McCheyne, and Andrew Bonar, 
he says : — It is a story of thrilling interest, manifesting the 
guidance and care of God. The deputation had a letter from 
the Foreign Office (Lord Palmerston) to the British am- 
bassadors and consuls, for our use, wherever we might go. 
At Pesth there was no consul. We had an accumulation of 
introductions for other cities, but not one for it — nor did we 
know one single individual within it. Yet w^e would have 
been faithless to our charge if we had passed it by, or tarried 
only for a night. According to the original plan of our route, 
w^e had resolved not to come within hundreds of miles of it, 
but there we were ; and long ere w^e reached it w^e had 
resolved to stop at Pesth, at least for three days, till the next 
steamer should arrive, thinking that that time might suffice 
for it. But brief as it was, it sufficed to convince us that of 
all the cities we had visited, none was to be compared to it, 
as the promising site of a Jewish mission. Our inquiries were 
then incomplete ; we could not go, till w^e could learn still more; 
and though we had paid for our passage by the next steamer, 
we let it pass without entering it. A Babbi (a nationalist), 
as if provoking us to persevere, said, " Send us out a mis- 
sionary, and we will reason with him." We had no such 
challenge in any other city. We had ascertained that there 
were many such Jews to be reasoned with there, and were 


informed by one of the professors that there were thirty- 
Jewish youths at the University. As to the desirability of 
a mission there we were soon fully satisfied ; but as to its 
possibility we saw no way. We knew well that the Austrian 
Government, then supreme in Hungary, would be dead 
against it. The dread object in our view was the grand 
palace of the Prince Palatine, an Austrian archduke, the 
uncle of the Emperor. The first sight of it seemed to defy 
us, and to destroy all hope, if, hoping against hope, we had 
cherished any. However beautiful, it had, when we thought 
of our object, no beauty in our eyes ; and it was the very last 
place to which we should have looked for help. 

Help was needed to give us any hope, and even, it may be 
said, to keep one of us from the grave. Two quarantines on 
the banks of the Danube, and ascending slowly up that river 
for many hundreds of miles, at the most pestilential season of 
the year, had smitten us both with intermittent or, as it is 
called, the Danube fever. Enfeebled thus, we had at first to 
grope our way as strangers in a strange city, and to gather 
information from public men, whose names we had to ascer- 
tain — Rabbis, Professors, Protestant clergymen, ttc. — as quietly 
and unostentatiously as we could. Steam navigation had made 
travellers les:s objects of observation. Going thus from house 
to house to complete our inquiries, and to find, if we could, 
some friend to our cause, I was suddenly seized in passing 
along the street with faintness and sickness, and had to retreat 
into a house, and I lay there for some time before I was able 
to return to the hotel. 

On reaching the hotel I was speedily prostrated by an 
attack which had some of the symptoms of cholera ; while my 
beloved friend of many years — now the late Dr. Black,— while 
I live to write it, — saw me sinking more and more, till he 
thought I was about to die, was walking up and down 
wringing his hands, bemoaning himself and weeping like a 
child ; and I, who thought myself dying, but believing in 
Jesus, felt my true self, though not the shell, to be all alive, 
was trying to comfort him, so long as I could speak. I fainted 
away, became insensible, my pulse stopped as if '* all was 
over," as mortals creatures speak, and this fleeting life had 
passed away. A scene of yesterday is not more fresh in my 


mind than this, as I seemed to take the last look on earth of 
my Christian friend, and I seem to see him still. He was the 
strength of our mission — a man of vast erudition, and a pro- 
found theologian. He spoke nineteen languages, and wrote 
twelve. On seeing me, as he thought, dying or dead, his 
affectionate heart was touched to the quick, and his fever 
returned with increased violence. I saw him not again for 
six weeks, though there was only a thin wall between our 
rooms ; when he came to see me — the shadow of what he was— 
I have often said that we were like two dead dogs. But it 
is now time to say to the reader : Come and see what the 
Lord can do, who said to His disciples, " The very hairs of 
your head are all numbered." 

At the time I became insensible, the master of the hotel, 
observing a foreign gentleman passing along the street, ran 
to him and asked, " Are you an Englishman?" He said that 
he was. He then besought him to enter, and see two English 
travellers, one of whom was dying, and the other was taken 
very ill, and he did not know what to do. The stranger (a 
Mr. Wakefield) said that he could do nothing ; for he and 
his family were to start the next morning at five o'clock for 
Transylvania. Still pressed, he came. On seeing me, though 
1 saw him not, he said, " Two English ladies have arrived, 
and I will let them know." 

They were Mrs. and Miss Pardoe. The latter had gone to 
Constantinople to write the City of the Sultan, and she had 
now come to Pesth to write a book on Hungary. She had 
seen Prince Esterhazy, who had put a coach at her command 
to visit his palaces — to paint them to the English public. 
More than that, he introduced her to the Archduke, who was 
then presiding over the Hungarian Diet at Presburg. From 
liim she brought a note to the Archduchess, whom she had 
already seen. No sooner did Miss Pardoe hear the doleful 
tidings from Mr. Wakefield, than she hasted to the bedside 
of the speechless stranger, and learned the name by looking 
for it on my portmanteau. Being herself a stranger in 
Pesth, she returned at once to the Archduchess, who sent 
immediate orders that everything possible should be done for 
my recovery. 

A sparrow cannot fall unto the ground without the Father. 


Apparently I was about to fall unto the ground, and speedily 
to be laid in the grave. According to the law and practice 
there, so soon as a foreigner dies, the body is laid twenty-four 
hours in a church, and then buried. Two men, as I was 
afterwards told, were there awaiting at my bedside to carry 
me away. A literary gentleman of position and influence, 
whom we had previously seen, calling at the time, on seeing 
me said, "Nothing can be done but order the coflBn." But 
other and imperial orders were obeyed, and everything possible 
was done. When vital heat was slowly restored to my cold 
body, and signs of recovery appeared, the physician cried in 
my ear, "We all thought you were dead." "Not dead," was 
my reply. These were the only words I uttered, and day 
after day I continued in a state of unconsciousness, at least 
to all outward things. Awakening as if from a sleep, seeing a 
lady at my bed-side — Mrs. Christie with her husband. Captain 
Christie, then on their way to the East — I asked, " What 
day is this ? " " Not possible," I said, when I was told that 
it was Sabbath, having no knowledge or recollection beyond 
the tenth day previously. She afterwards informed me, in 
Edinburgh, on referring to this, that the first words I spoke 
w^ere, " Is that clock striking yet ? " Blisters had been put 
over my body, and hot bottles around it, but I never felt 
them. When restored to sensibility, feeling some splashes 
on my breast, on asking what they were I was told that 
there burning wax had been dropped. And again, " These 
crusts ? " " There you were punctured, to try if there was any 
sensation." But there was none, and the only sign of life 
was that of my breath on a mirror, put close to my mouth, 
so faint that of it there were doubts . . . The physician who 
attended me, one of the professors, said, " I never knew, 
heard, or read of any one but yourself who touched the gates 
of death without passing through them." 

It was a new thing, so far as known, for any Church, as 
such, to send forth missionaries, or establish missions, specially 
and expressly for the conversion of the Jews. No little interest 
had thus been excited among the friends of Israel, when the 
deputation went forth from Scotland. Many bestirred them- 
selves to secure letters of introduction for our use ; and we 
were thus furnished wuth a large number from many indi- 


viduals personally unknown. Among these, as she afterwards 
informed us, was one from Miss Pardoe, to a Pasha, or some 
dignitary in Cairo. She thus knew at once that we were 
there on our return from Palestine, and could tell who we 
were, and the purpose of our journey. So soon as she took 
the tidings to the Archduchess, and informed her how and 
where I lay, she said that " the Archduke had given her a 
book of his" (Dr. Keith's), "with views in Palestine" (refer- 
ring to the illustrated edition of the Evidence of Fropliecy). A 
motive power compared to which the mere doings of men were 
a nothing, sprang up that moment in her mind, which was 
never afterwards obliterated or diminished ; which no human 
being had any part in exciting or anything to do with, which 
influenced, as it explained, her future actions and her un- 
flinching devotedness ; but which she did not tell to a 
stranger. As repeatedly thereafter told by herself to different 
Christian friends, it had thus its origin. 

During the previous fortnight, night after night, without 
the exception of one, she aw^oke suddenly in the middle of the 
night, at the same hour, with a strong and irrepressible con- 
viction that something w^as to happen to her. It uniformly 
continued for a wakeful and most anxious hour, and when it 
passed away she had her undisturbed and usual rest. Re- 
curring thus regularly and uniformly, the impression was 
more and more deepened in her mind ; and she thought in 
vain what it could be, except it was the death of her mother, 
as she thought that would affect her most. Thus, day after 
day, on the arrival of the post she looked for tidings of her 
mother's death. This continued till the day Miss Pardoe 
told her that I was lying in a seemingly dying state at Pesth. 
Instantly, as she expressed it, she thought within herself, 
" This is what was to happen to me." That night, and 
uniformly after, her sleep was as unbroken as before, without 
any real disturbing thought. Seven years thereafter, when 
the Duchess of Gordon and I went to meet her at her mother's 
in the palace of Kirkheim in Wurtemburg, referring to it she 
said that she never had any such feeling in her life, either 
before or after, but only then. 

In that feeling, involved as it was with many coiEcidences, 
which it was not man that directed and over-ruled, lay the 


key whereby a door was to be opened for the Jewish mission 
at Pesth, though no one knew it, or thought of it then .... 

As soon as it was deemed that my returning strength wouhl 
permit, the Archduchess came for the first time to see me. 
So far as known she had never previously entered an hotel in 
Pesth. It took the inmates by surprise. The cry was raised at 
her coming — "The Princess Palatine I " There was a hubbub 
in the house, a running to and fro — all bustle and preparation. 

Dr. Keith proceeds to give an account of the frequent visits 
of the Archduchess — of her unfolding to him all her mind — 
of her sorrow for the loss of her beloved son, the Prince 
Alexander, of great firmness and possessed of true Christian 
faith, at the age of seventeen, two years before — though she 
was perfectly submissive — but especially of the burden of her 
sins, for which she thought special judgments had overtaken 
her. Her mind was full, and she poured out her sorrows. 
"When she had spoken at great length, Dr. Keith's first words 
indicating the purport of her statement were, " No, madam, 
if there be faith in Christ, afllictions, however great, are 
not evidence of the wrath of God, but tokens of His love, 
who chasteneth whom He loveth, and scourgeth every son 
whom He receiveth." The Archduchess continued to visit 
him during his illness every alternate day, and there was 
much conversation as to a possible mission to the Jews. 

Dr. Keith tried to leave Pesth with Dr. Black (who had to 
return to his University duties), two months after he had been 
seized with illness ; but being again attacked w^th fever and 
ague, he had to remain some months longer — six months in all. 
It was not till after this attempt to leave that he saw Mr. 
Saphir and others, and acquired the knowledge which made 
him urge the establishment of a mission to the Jews in Pesth. 
He had inquired of a literary Polish gentleman if he knew 
any intelligent Jew in Pesth on whose testimony he could 
thoroughly rely. ''There is no man like Mr. Saphir," he said. 
With him and others he had many conversations. From his 
great candour, he had good hopes that Mr. Saphir would 
become a convert. But it was some years later before the 
great change took place. " His was a long and hard struggle," 
says Dr. Keith, " before he was convinced that the Jews 
ci^ucified the Messiah." Some idea may be formed of the 


nature of the conflict in his mind from what he said when it 
was finished. After a sleepless night, he said to his wife, 
"I am convinced that Jesus is the Christ, and though I see 
nothing but starvation staring us in the face, I must go and 
confess it." 

As to the Archduchess, Dr. Keith continues : — " Literally 
she ministered to me with lier own hand. Often when I was 
athirst, or fatigued in the course of conversation, putting one 
of her hands under my head, she gently raised it from the 
pillow, and with the other gave me to drink. She brought 
the same cup with which she had ministered to her dying 
son." Dr. Keith had relapses at different times, and but for 
her constant attention would never have recovered. Thus in 
the very centre of power was found the protection and 
zeal for the mission, which Dr. Keith pressed forward 
afterwards in committee, amidst much opposition, convinced 
that God Himself had indicated to them Pesth as a grand 
centre for Jev.-ish missions. 

Of the Archduchess he says, in winding up his narrative : — 
"To me she was Christian kindness itself, and none the less 
because of my using ' all plainness of speech.' So observant 
and considerate was she, that noticing that my bed was so 
short that I could not stretch myself on it " (Dr. Keith was 
very tall), " she sent without delay a fine long bed — that, as 
she afterwards told me, of the Archduke, being the longest in 
the palace — on which I lay till my departure. When again 
in a high fever, and my life in danger, I one day wondered 
at the unusual and perfect stillness, and, on asking the cause, 
was told that the street was covered with straw near the 
hotel, and a soldier (Austrian soldiers too) was stationed at 
each end of the street to prevent any thoroughfare, and to 
keep any carriage that stopped in it at a walking pace. Her 
attention to all my wants or comforts was unremitting and 
unwearied ; and long before I left, my chief meal was sent 
daily in hot dishes from the palace, as the physician prescribed 
what was best for my use. . . ." 

He long lay very ill, and but for the arrival of one of his 
sons, then a student of medicine in Edinburgh, who adopted 
quietly more decisive and effective treatment, and who re- 
mained with him till he left, would probably not have recovered, 



DR. Duncan's wonderful influence in pesth. 

There was nothing more remarkable in the Pesth mission 
than the wonderful influence at once obtained by the Rev. 
Dr. Duncan, who was a man of singular absence of mind, but 
of much philosophical and theological, and above all spiritual, 
power. He at once commanded a respect, from his learning 
and spirituality combined, which from the very first raised 
the mission to a position of influence, among both Jews and 
Gentiles, Protestants and Roman Catholics, and the effect of 
which was felt for many years after he had gone. He was 
respected in his own country, but never exercised such power 
as in his brief missionary life at Pesth. We have there- 
fore thought it advisable to give in an appendix a fuller 
account of his influence than we could well have done in the 
Life. We derive our information from the Recollections of 
ike Rev. J. Duncan, LL.D., by Dr. Moody Stuart, and from 
the well-known Life, written by the Rev. Principal Brown, D.D. 

" Before leaving Scotland he had been married to a Mrs. 
Torrance, who entered with Christian enthusiasm and energy 
and wisdom into all his missionary work. Their house in 
Pesth was thrown open to the Jews ; they saw all their habits 
and ways, and had Christianity presented before them without 
being forced upon them. His very peculiarities seemed to 
suit them, and to attract rather than to offend ; and his truly 
Christian tact was so great that his opponents spoke of him 
as ' a very cunning missionary.' 

" On their arrival in Pesth they found a number of English 
engaged in the erection of a chain-bridge, and their presence 
gave the missionaries a legal opportunity of preaching the 
gospel, of which they gladly availed themselves. Dr. Duncan 
was requested to marry two British subjects, and consented. 
A few days after he had performed the ceremony, the Arch- 
duke Palatine of Hungary sent for him, and after a kind 
reception told him that it was his duty to inform him that 


tlie act was illegal, and must not be repeated. He answered, 
' I am an ordained minister of the Established Church of 
Scotland, and I hold myself entitled under Christ to administer 
the ceremony of marriage between British subjects.' The 
Archduke replied, ' I don't question your ministerial orders, 
but marriage in this country is civil as well as religious, and 
must be administered by a clergyman recognized by law\ 
But all that I ask you to do is, in future, to act on such 
occasions as the vicar of a legally recognized pastor.' Pro- 
ceeding on his uniform breadth of view, and acting with his 
usual prudence, Dr. Duncan at once consented ; and in 
baptism and every other ordinance both he and the other 
missionaries to the Jews always acted as vicars to Pastor 
Toriik, the honoured superintendent of the Reformed Church, 
from whom they invariably received the greatest kindness." 

Dr. Duncan's conscience was more alive than most men's 
to the evil of any conformity with or countenance to the errors 
of Papacy, and he would not be present, even in the way of 
curiosity, at the idolatrous service of the Mass. When his 
friends went to witness the pomp of that worship in Bome on 
a high occasion, he left them at the door of the church. But 
he would attend the preaching without scruple ; he described 
with great vivacity the sermons which he heard in Italy ; and 
in the Roman Catholic creed he always owned the " wheat " 
with which the " arsenic " was mingled. Of his remarkable 
intercourse in Pesth with the Hebrew and Roman Catholic 
doctors Mr. Allan gives a graphic account. " For a while in 
Pesth it was a precious time. The great subjects of the gospel 
were presented and defended as new. The venerated beliefs 
and positions of Judaism presented themselves in numbers of 
living, intelligent men ; and the discussion of these gave exer- 
cise to his beloved acquirements of Hebrew and Latin. The 
latter he spoke with great purity, precision, and readiness ; 
the effort that he required to make to find and frame his 
words gave compactness to his discourse ; when he had to 
quote the Scriptures it behoved to be in the original, as such 
is the practice of the Jews, and only so is it of authority. 
Such engagement kept mind, body, and spirits healthy ; prayer, 
too, active, and the fruit was seen. 

" It was at this time that, besides daily converse with learned 


Jews and Roman Catholics, numbers of both attended his 
services. Among the latter was a company of four friends, 
three of them 2)riests, and one a young lawyer. The elder of 
the priests had the honorary office of chaplain to the King 
of Sardinia ; another of them appeared prominently in the 
Council at Kome (1870), Sr. Lodovicus Haynald, Bishop of some 
place in Croatia, I think. Among other duties they conducted 
a newspaper in Magyar, and at that time the controversy was 
very free between them and Protestant Rationalists. Of 
course the Catholics were too wise — I may say too faithful — 
to take their stand upon any accretions ; they stuck to the 
f undamendal verities. ' I,' said the doctor, openly and re- 
peatedly, 'side with the Catholics.' He could not then read 
Magyar, but he used to see both papers on the controversy, 
and count the passages of ►^jcripture quoted by each. ' I 
find,' said he, 'that the Catholics quote Scripture six times 
for the Protestants' once.' Our friends attended our Sabbath 
services most regularly ; the doctor preached a series of dis- 
courses on the Lord's Prayer ; they (the Catholics) were very 
anxious to have these discourses to publish in their paper; 
but you know how impossible that was in the absence of a 
shorthand writer. One thing was very marked in his public 
and private intercourses with these gentlemen and others of 
the same Church ; he always guardedly spoke of the Church 
as the ' Western Church' I understood it to be a compromise 
between Catholic and Roman. I remember the great surprise 
expressed by my young friend the priest in these words, * But 
your doctor is orthodox.' 

''These things recall very pleasant memories. Our four 
R. C. friends wished to learn English (as England at that 
time was the model set up by the Hungarians), and I was 
their teacher. It opened for me much pleasant intercourse. 
Would that it had been more profitable ! I spent some days 
with Haynald at Gran, where he was Professor of Theology,^ 
and had the honour of being introduced to the Prince Primate. 
I am sure my then master. Dr. Duncan, would not have 
objected to any respect shown the venerable man, or any 

^ At'tenvards Cardinal Archbishop Haynald, Kalocsa, Hungary. He 
was at the Papal Council in Rome in 1870, and opposed the decree of 


received from him. Dr. Duncan said he would preach in 
the Pope's pulpit if he asked him, and I feel sure he would 
have done it, with surpassing delicacy." 

It was towards the close of this happy time that we used to 
have the communion in the upper room, joined with others by 
a venerable Countess Brunswick, a devout Catholic clinging to 
the hope of reformation in her venerable Church. Schauffler 
and family visited us about the same time on their way from 
Vienna, where he had been printing his Bible. Old Saphir 
had for some time been often with us in public and private ; 
leading (or being led, you could hardly tell which) by the 
hand his Benjamin — Adolph. He was present as a witness 
on the occasion of our communion to which I refer. I can 
never forget that sight. He was sitting on a chair. The 
boy, standing, was between his knees, the young head reaching 
nearly to the aged face, the face nearly resting on the youth- 
ful head. We had ended the Supper. Dr. Duncan gave out 
the sixty-fourth paraphrase, ' To Him that loved the souls of 
men.' To our surprise the voice of the old Hebrew rose 
above our voices, and when we looked to him the tears were 
falling plentifully on the head of Adolph. These are days to 
be remembered." 

" The dust of the earth on the throne of the Majesty on high 
was the great stumbling-block to those Israelites ; yet some of 
them were learning to call Jesus, Lord." 

"The venerable Saphir, one of the most respected of the 
Jews in Pesth, and his whole family with him, were among the 
first-fruits of the mission. The boy, on whose head his old 
father's tears fell so fast, has long been well known as one of 
the most devoted, honoured, and successful of the Presbyterian 
ministers in England. Two Hebrew students, afterwards the 
Pev. Mr. Edershcim of Torquay, and the Pev. Mr. Tomory of 
Constantinople, were among the earliest converts. Of his 
daily intercourse with them and others in the freshness of their 
first love, Dr. Duncan spoke afterwards with interest and 
enthusiasm. In reading the Xew Testament with them they 
found it speak so exactly to their own circumstances, their 
joys, their hopes, their difficulties, their trials, that he said to 
me, ' They used to read day after day the Epistles of Paul, as 
if they had been letters that had come by that morning'y 


post.' In this city more than a hundred Hebrew converts 
have since been baptized (in 1873) in the name of Him whom 
the nation abhors." 

The E,ev. Alexander Tomory, long missionary to the Jews 
in Constantinople, himself one of the first-fruits of the mission 
to Pesth, gave also in Dr. Moody Stuart's volume an interesting 
account of Dr. Duncan's work. *' While the Church at home 
made preparation for her work among the children of Israel, 
and fixed on Pesth as her first central mission, the Lord 
prepared some souls in that dark land to be the first recipients 
of those bounties, the first-fruits of the great gathering, the 
trophies of His redeeming love. If my time permitted, I 
would gladly prepare a full statement as a tribute of filial 
affection to him who, in the providence of God, was to me as 
a father, at whose feet I gladly sat, and whose teaching and 
godly example were so much blessed to me. 

" Six hours distant from Pesth sighed a lonely soul for the 
Word of Life. In vain did I speak to Protestant theological 
professors and Roman Catholic bishops ; they had nothing to 
say to lead an erring sheep back to the Great Shepherd ] but 
a high prelate in Vienna on hearing my story said, * Why did 
you come here ? In Pesth there are English missionaries.' So 
these functionaries then had notice of Dr. Duncan's presence 
in the capital of Hungary, and three days later I was intro- 
duced to the dear man. In a most syllogistic way, and in 
fluent Latin, he brought out the truth of the gospel, and 
urged me to accept Christ as my Saviour. I well remember 
the time and the locality ; the very words still linger within me 
with a thrilling echo. Bat quite in keeping with the character 
of the doctor, with the ruling passion, in the same breath he 
began to teach me English. While the tears were yet in my 
eyes and his, he began to conjugate an English verb, and made 
me repeat it. After that I saw him almost daily till he left 
for Italy. This was in the year 1842. He left, but the blessing 
remained behind. It was a time of love, a time of the right 
hand of the Most High ; it was a pentecostal time. I have 
seen for months a large hall filled with Jews twice a week, 
drinking in the words as they came from Messrs. Smith and 
Wingate. It was a time of earnest prayer, and souls were 
born as in a day. Two or three met together, and spent 

F F 


whole nights in prayer ; they prayed for the missionaries, for 
the work, for individual souls, and for Israel in general, and 
surprising answers were granted. 

" When he returned to Pesth in June 1843, I was already 
baptized, and a number besides. He was surrounded by a 
flock of new-born souls, and felt quite overwhelmed. I well 
remember his English sermon preached on the first Sabbath 
after his return, on 3 John 3, ' I rejoiced greatly, when the 
brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even 
as thou walkest in the truth.' He was deeply moved, and 
scarcely able to proceed. The words of Csesar might have been 
applied to him in a spiritual sense, * Veni, vidi, vici.' Whole 
days were occupied in receiving visitors, and his metaphysical 
and conversational powers were brought into full play. I 
heard him talking away for hours together on the most 
abstruse questions. We hung on his lips, and drank in every 
word. A Popish priest, professor in the Theological Seminary, 
called one afternoon, and the discussion was a most animated 
one. The doctor brought out glorious truths in the most 
classic Latin, and the Professor seemed to enjoy it immensely, 
although opposing the propositions advanced. His learning 
attracted many people — Rabbis, teachers, and students were 
daily visitors ; there was a constant coming and going, and 
the regular instruction was left almost entirely to Messrs. 
Smith and Wingate. His influence in the place was immense, 
and he certainly used it for good. 

" He greatly desired the revival of the Hungarian Church ; 
various plans and means were proposed. A great influence 
was produced on both the Lutheran and Reformed Churches 
in Pesth and Hungary generally. Many were delivered from 
rationalism. Among others Bauhofer, chaplain to the Arch- 
duchess, who confessed before he died that he owed his 
conversion to the missionaries." 

The following description of Duncan is given by the Rev. 
Dr. Smith in Principal Brown's Life of Duncan : — " He seemed 
to be a child and a giant in one, both characters curiously 
intermingled, making intercourse with him peculiarly delight- 
ful. No man ever inspired less awe, nor called forth deeper 
reverence. What added greatly to the weight of his words 
was, that all his views on the great questions of philosophy, 


theology, and philology were thoroughly matured. You very 
rarely discovered an idea in the process of formation. Every 
thought came forth from the birth in full maturity. But 
though from the circumstances his opinions were not only 
clear, but strong and decided, he was singularly free from 
dogmatism. The severe mental conflict by which the most of 
them had been reached, made him tolerant towards the cruder 
and less perfectly formed views of others. All this I learned 
more fully afterwards, but I saw enough at my first interview 
to convince me that the Church had made a wise arrangement 
in giving him the superintendence of the younger missionaries, 
and I reckoned myself fortunate in the prospect of possessing 
such a guide in my preparation for future labour." 

A fuller account is given by him of the Archduchess' 
earlier history : — 

" The Archduchess Maria Dorothea was by birth a princess 
of the house of WUrtemburg, and a Protestant. When she 
consented (while spiritually unawakened) to marry the Roman 
Catholic Archduke Palatine, Joseph, the Emperor's uncle, and 
Viceroy of Hungary, it w^as with the express security that she 
should enjoy full religious liberty for herself ; and even after 
she became so decided, she had the sincere attachment of her 
husband. Still, she felt herself alone in her adopted country, 
and though feeling the deepest interest in its religious welfare, 
she was able to do next to nothing for it, owing to the jealous 
watchfulness of the Romish authorities, then all-powerful in 
Austria. But the deep waters of afiliction through which she 
had to pass were greatly blessed to her. Her eldest boy — a 
youth of great promise, and already styled ' the hope of Hun- 
gary,' of high talents, good address, and handsome person, and, 
what his mother valued most of all, already her companion in 
decision of Christian principle — had, to her unspeakable grief, 
been taken from her at the early age of seventeen. Driven to 
her Bible and her knees, she there found the needed relief. 
The palace in which she resided stands on an eminence, looking 
down on the Danube rolling beneath, with the city of Pesth 
on its opposite bank ; and her private apartment lay towards 
the front of the building. ' There in the deep embrasure ' she 
poured forth her prayers to God, for a revival of spiritual life 
in Hungary." 



(The following obituary notice is abridged from the Humorist of 
September 7, 1858, of which paper Mr. M. G. Saphir had been 
l^roprietor, editor, and publisher.) 


MoRiTZ Gottlieb Saphir, the great humorist, and successor 
of Jean Paul, was born at Lovas-Bereoy on February 8, 1795. 
This is a little Hungarian town in the Stuhlweissenbouro: 
district, the inhabitants of which are engaged mostly in vine- 

The grandfather of the poet was named Israel Israel. 
When the Jews, at the command of the Emperor Joseph II., 
were obliged to adopt family names, the magistrates summoned 
the above-mentioned grandfather, and asked him what name 
he wished to be known by in future. Israel Israel at first 
did not himself know ; but, as he wore on his finger an heir- 
loom in the shape of a signet ring with a sapphire stone in 
it, the magistrate suggested to him, " Call yourself simply 
Saphir." And this he did. 

It was the wish of his parents that M. G. Saphir should 
enter a commercial house ; but he himself desired a literary 
career. A middle course was sought for, and Saphir was set 
to study the Talmud. Saphir went to Prague, in order to 
devote himself to the study of the Talmud. Thus passed the 
long period from 1806 — 1814. He spent these beautiful 
years of youth in the earnest and unremitting pursuit of this 

A really spirited nature however will not allow itself to 
be for ever gagged and fettered, and so, by and by, Saphir 
burst his restraining bonds, and firmly decided only to listen in 


future to the inspirations of his muse. The young writer was 
very well received by the reading world ; his poems found a 
warm welcome, and his satirical talent especially attracted an 
unwonted amount of attention. The future unsparing critic of 
bad writers and rhymers was at this time remarkable for the 
weight of his lash. 

Saphir however was not contented with the laurels which 
a city of the second rank could afford. Pesth was not at that 
time fitted to become the Capua of any great talent. Our 
humorist hastened from thence to the imperial city on the 
upper Danube. Literary and artistic circles in Vienna all 
admired him greatly. 

Unpleasant incidents, produced by some of his satirical 
writings, induced Saphir to leave Vienna and go to Berlin. 
The richly-gifted writer was by no means received there with 
open arms, for at that time an envious feeling was prevalent, 
which caused them to receive the most brilliant productions 
of Southern Germany with cold and severe criticism. Holtei 
has described with praiseworthy honesty in one of his books 
how terrified every one was when Saphir, thanks to his 
Schnelljwst, which he began to publish in 1826, suddenly grew 
to be a power in criticism. 

In the following year he founded a second periodical. The 
Berlin Courier. At this time he began to use his well-known 
nom de plume, Dr. Debeck, with which he signed many later 
articles. Opponents were not wanting, but Saphir came out 
of such polemical skirmishes with fresh laurels. 

In the year 1828, Saphir wrote two pamphlets which the 
brilliancy of his mockery and satire made famous. One 
brochure bore the title Der yetodtete und dock lehendige Saphir, 
and the other Kommt her! Both pamphlets created a 
tremendous sensation. 

In 1830 he made a journey to Paris. He lived while in 
Paris in cordial intercourse with Heinrich Heine and Ludwig 
Biirne : in fact he lived in a furnished apartment immediately 
above the room occupied by the latter, which served still 
further to strengthen the bonds between them. In the same 
year, namely 1831, Saphir was recalled to Munich by the 
King of Bavaria, in order to undertake the editorship of Der 
Bairische Beohachter, and he also started at the same time 


liis Milnchener Ilorizont, which in a short time became one of 
the most widely-read papers in Germany. 

In the beginning of 1832, his profession of Christianity 
took place. Saphir was baptized in Dean Beck's house, 
according to the practice of the Protestant Church. 

With the year 1834, his journalistic activity in Munich 
came to an end. Saphir returned to Vienna. His fame as 
an author procured him admittance to salons whose doors 
were opened only to the creme de la creme. That he should 
thus be introduced into the drawing-rooms of the great, was a 
reward which only envy or ignorance could have objected to. 

From this time he was recognized as the principal critic in 
the capital. Three years later (1837) he began the editor- 
ship of his journal De7' Humorist. After 1850, Saphir's 
humorous and satirical Volkskcdender appeared annually, and 
became so popular that in spite of an edition of from 16,000 
to 20,000 copies, it was usually sold out in a few weeks. 
Saphir procured further benefit to poetry and art by the 
founding of his Musihaliscli-dedaraatorisclie Ahadertile. 

His fame as a writer spread far ; and he undertook some 
professional tours beyond the frontiers of the Empire. They 
were intellectual triumphs. Soon after, as will be read further 
on, Saphir extended his conquests across the Rhine. 

In the month of August 1858 he was sent as the 
representative of literature to Brussels, to be present at the 
marriage of the Archduchess Maria Henrietta Anna to the 
Duke of Brabant, the Belgian Crown Prince. In Brussels 
Saphir formed a close friendship with the celebrated Dumas 
jHire, who subsequently, in the drawing-rooms of Prince 
Napoleon and Princess Matilda, told so many fine stories 
about the German humorist, that both illustrious members 
of the French Imperial House lived in the belief that M. 
G. Saphir was only a myth whom Dumas had created out of 
his own mind, for the entertainment of the Prussian Court ! 
Saphir was consequently received with open arms in Paris, 
when he went there to be present at the Industrial Exhibition 
in 1855. 

Saphir was tall and slender. In his eyes could be read 
intellect and good-nature, — only about his lips there sometimes 
hovered a sort of derisive smile. His dress was faultless, and 


ho had the manners of a perfect gentleman. He was ahnost 
the only German literary celebrity who, like our colleagues 
across the Rhine, lived entirely by liis writings [Ein Rentier 
des Geistes). In short he may be described as the German 
Alexander Dumas. In addition to his mother tongue Saphir 
spoke French, English, and Italian fluently, and also some 
Hungarian. His Hebrew studies we have already mentioned. 

With regard to ISaphir's poetry, one must especially admire 
the many-sidedness of his talent. As a singer of love, and as 
a lyric poet, Saphir could touch all hearts. His collection 
Wilde Rosen may be compared to a jewel-case containing many 
precious gems. 

The pure morality which almost without exception distin- 
guished his works is worthy of all praise. 

Saphir was, however, especially distinguished in the domain 
of criticism. He possessed all the gifts w^hich Borne has 
stated to be necessary for a good critic, viz. wide reading, 
general knowledge, versatility, and courage. 

His handwriting was very bad. He humorously thus referred 
to it : " If you cannot read my wi-iting you must have 
patience till I come myself, and I will bring with me my 
compositor from the printing-office, who is the only man on 
earth who can read my writing. I will confide a secret to 
you. In the course of years I and my compositor have so 
grown together, that we deserve to be exhibited as a marvel- 
lous phenomenon ! I cannot live without him, for nobody 
else can put my writing in type ; but he also, good man, cannot 
live without me, for he can no longer read ordinary good 
writing ! " 

He died on September 5, 1858, at Baden. The body was 
thence conveyed to Vienna, where there was a very large 

Dr. Adler, Chief Rabbi in London, in a recent lecture on 
Jewish humour, says of M. G. Saphir — "During the major 
portion of the century, the Hungarian Saphir was acknow- 
ledged as the leading humorist in Austria. His caustive 
satire made him excessively distasteful to the petty sovereigns 
with whom the Germany of those days abounded. Ordered 
to quit the territory of one of these princelets, he calmly 
observed, ' If his highness wuU deign to look out of his palace 


windows, he will see me crossing the frontier of his dominions.' 
On another occasion the King of Bavaria, who was fond of 
dabbling in poetry, ordered him to leave the country within 
twenty-four hours. On being asked whether he could get 
away in so short a time, he answered, * Oh, certainly ! For, 
if my own feet will not carry me with sufficient rapidity, I 
can always borrow some of the superfluous feet in his Majesty's 
last volume of poems.' " 

An author, jealous of Saphir's fame, taxed him with writing 
for money. " I do not act thus," he continued, drawing himself 
up proudly, '' I write for fame ! " "I admit the soft impeach- 
ment," rejoined Saphir. " Every one writes for that which he 
most grievously lacks : I lack money, you lack fame." 

An acquaintance once said to Saphir, " Making debts ruins 
a man." " My experience is different," dryly observed Saphir, 
*' I find that paying debts ruins me." 

Mrs. Amery, Dr. Saphir's cousin, writes of other relations 
who were distinguished : — 

" A cousin of dear Dr. Saphir, Karl Saphir, is still living, 
and seventy-four years old. He is one of the professors of 
the Musical Academy at Buda-Pest. Another cousin of Dr. 
Saphir was the sub-editor of a principal Vienna journal, and 
only recently died. Two others were well-known doctors in 
Hungary — and a female cousin was devoted, the last twenty- 
five years of her life, to the Froebel Schools of Buda-Pest, and 
to the training of teachers on the Froebel system for Hungary. 
The Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, decorated her for 
her services to education." 


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